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.

Monday, November 25, 2013

True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do To Save The Planet

Author: Kim McCay and Jenny Bonnin

Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books

Grade Level: 5th and up

Buy It Now!

Use It In The Classroom

Summary: True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do To Save The Planet is the ultimate guide for children to become "an agent of change for our world." Upon reading True Green, students will learn about all the different ways that they can better the environment through vibrant text and photographs.  From at school to on vacation, True Green offers students a wide array of  opportunities to take social action on a very important issue for humanity.

Element 6- Taking Social Action: True Green represents Taking Social Action because it gives students the framework to make a difference. True Green focuses on why saving the environment is important and provides students with the background knowledge to carry out those tasks. Students are able to take an individual stand through small-scale activities as well participating in a collective movement in Teamwork projects. Students are also provided with the resources to join organizations in the community. What makes this book so great is its balance between individual and group involvement.

Students can participate in several activities based on this book. On a smaller scale, students can keep an "Agent of Change Journal: Environment Edition" edition. In these journals, students would record the individual tasks from the book that they participated in to help save the environment. As a culminating activity, the class can play Agent of Change Bingo, where some of the 100 examples are used. Students would only be able to mark their bingo boards if they participated in the activity and logged it in their journals. The winner of Agent of Change Bingo would win the prize of Environmental Ambassador  of the classroom and be in charge of starting a correspondence with one of the local environmental organizations mentioned in the book. Students could also examine the Teamwork, With Friends, and at School sections of the book and write up a proposal highlighting the example that they were the most interested in. The finished products could be sent to the appropriate administrative office for consideration.

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