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 11, 2014

Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song: SJE 4: Social Movements and Social Change




Title: Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Brian Pinkney
SJE Element 4: Social Movements and Social Change
Grades 1 and 2

Summary:
Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song tells the story of Martin Luther King, Jr and Mahalia Jackson. The book details their childhood side by side and their journey throughout the Civil Rights Movement.  It tells of the work Martin and Mahalia did together, from their beginning in 1955 for the Montgomery Bus Boycott to them leading their voices to inspire thousands of people at the March on Washington. The book also includes a timeline of important events that shows the journey of the Civil Rights movement intertwined with Martin and Mahalia's lives. 

How does this represent SJE 4?
Through its art and its content, this book shows students how the events in Martin and Mahalia’s lives inspired them to become influential figures in the Civil Rights Movement. By using their talents as they did, these ordinary people were able to work towards a goal that influenced the greater good and changed injustice.

How Would You Use This Book?
I would use this book during my unit on the Civil Right Movement and  to help my students practice public speaking and reading fluency. Primarily, I would use it during a lesson that involves this writing and public speaking activity.  This book would be great bridge between Social Studies content and my students practicing the literacy skill of reading fluency. It has a great timeline of events about the period that is very easy to understand.  By using this book I can add Social Studies to my literacy and writing block and vice versa while adding to the content of each subject. 

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