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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Written and Illustrated by Victoria Kahn
Grade level: K-3

Element 5: Raising Awareness
Buy it here

Summary: “Emeraldalicious” by Victoria Kahn is about Princess Pinkalicious and her brother, Peter, as they go on a walk in the park.  As they are walking, Pinkalicious breaks her favorite wand and her tiara.  Her and Peter make a new wand out of sticks, vines, and flowers.  The new wand turns out to have magic powers! It flies in the sky and leads them to an old park that is polluted and covered in garbage.  Pinkalicious uses the magic wand to turn the garbage into flowers, a castle, and a throne.  At the end of the story, the wand leaves, but Pinkalicious and Peter are left with seeds that will allow them to continue to make the park beautiful and clean.

Element 5- Raising Awareness: “Emeraldicious” represents the element of “Raising Awareness” because it raises awareness about pollution contaminating our Earth.  Pinkalicious and Peter see the old park they used to visit and are now shocked to see it looking so dirty.  They take action with the help of the magic wand and make it a beautiful place again.  This book also raises awareness about recycling, as the wand recycles the trash into beautiful things.  It also gives the reader ideas to plant flowers, gardens, and clean up trash.  Readers of this book will become aware of pollution they may see in their own neighborhood and be inspired to clean up and stop polluting the planet. 

Class Activity: I would use this book in my classroom around Earth Day.  I would read the story to the class and have the students draw pictures of beautiful gardens, flowers, or pictures of a clean planet.  We would then share the pictures and come up with ideas as a class on how we can make a difference for the environment.  We might emphasize recycling beginning in the classroom and around the school.  Also, we could organize a class trip to a local park to have a “Clean-up Day” around Earth Day.  

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