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, April 7, 2015

Players In Pigtails Element Five









Author: Shana Corey
Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
Grade Level: PreK - 3rd Grade
Element: 5

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Summary: 
As the men went off to serve in the military during World War II, Phillip Wrigley creates a crazy plan to recruit women to play baseball, despite public ridicule. On opening day, Katie Casey, a member of the Kenosha Comets, shows fans and the country that women have just as much talent as men when it comes to sports.
Players in Pigtails is inspired by the hit movie A League of Their Own. This book takes a look at the All- American Girls Professional Baseball League, created during World War II. The story focuses on Katie Casey, who preferred "sliding to sewing" and "batting to baking" and is mentioned as a "baseball-mad" girl in the song Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Determined Katie makes it all the way to the big leagues and finds a sisterhood of friends and players. This book discovers the power that girls have and it reveals that girls can do anything boys can do. 
  
Element 5: 
Social justice in essence is about raising awareness of certain issues. In Players In Pigtails, Katie Casey raises awareness to an injustice that has been common to women for a long time, which is sexism. Women have been made to feel inferior to men in every way. So when it was time for the male athletes to go to war that’s when women had their chance to show the world that they were capable of doing more. Katie Casey and Phillip Wrigley were successful in showing others that standing up for women’s rights was possible, therefore raising the awareness of the country of the accomplishment of women.

Follow Up Activity: 
Prior to reading Players in Pigtails I would have the students  think about the different types of things only girls and only boys do. I would ask them what characteristics they define as being associated as boy or girl and write them on the board, hopefully drawing out the theme of sports. After going over their examples, I would read the book. I would then lead a discussion about how why women were thought of as being “bad” at sports and see if they can change their definition about what girls and boys are “suppose” to be like. Then I would love to create a PSA with the students raising awareness of women’s issues and present it to the school. 


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