Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Kid's Guide to Service Projects: Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference



Author: Barbara A. Lewis
Grade Level: 5-6

This particular children’s book provides five-hundred social action/service idea projects for children who want to make a difference.  The book supplies step by step instructions on how to create several documents such as a flyer, a petition, a proposal, etc. However, the bulk of the book provides ideas that are kid-friendly. The social action/ service idea projects are separated into several topics, which ultimately allow the students to choose what action they would like to take, whether it is to help the environment or raise safety awareness, this book includes it all.

Element VI:

Element six can be defined as teachers providing opportunities for their students to take action on topics that effect their communities, their world, etc. During this element students are learning the skills to make a difference.  Thus, this specific book is a perfect example for element six because it offers a plethora of ideas on how children can take social action on issues they feel passionate about. This book provides step by step instruction how to start to take social action, kid-friendly service idea projects and even legal restrictions.


First, I would have a classroom discussion, where the students brainstorm on topics that affect their daily lives. Once, the class generates a sufficient amount of topics, I will have them choose one topic in particular that resonates with them and would like to take social action against. Once they have selected a topic, they will then revert to the book to look up their topic to find kid-friendly ideas they can participate in to take action.  Then once they have found an idea they will then complete the task to take social action.  

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