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 28, 2010

City Green

Title: City Green

Author: Dyanne Di Salvo-Ryan

Grade Level/Reading Level: K-3 ages 6-10

Buy it at Barnes & Noble

  • Summary: City Green is a story about a little girl named Marcy. In the city where Marcy lives there is an old abandoned building. One day Marcy and her friends witnesses a bulldozer knocking down the building. The empty lot is just sitting there collecting garbage and Marcy wants to do something about it. With help from her neighbor Miss Rosa, Marcy goes to the town and asks for permission to lease the lot. For one dollar she is able to rent the vacant lot. She uses the lot to plant a garden with help from some neighbors. One neighbor Mr. Hammer is very against building the garden, but although he doesn't help when people are looking, the reader knows that he sneaks in at night to plant sunflower seeds.

  • Element 5: Raising Awareness: This book is a great example of Social Justice Element 5: Raising Awareness because the main character in the story Marcy raises awareness about making the garbage filled lot into a beautiful garden. This book shows children that they can create change and make a difference if they try hard enough. This book also shows that working together with your community can have great ending results.

  • Activity: After reading this book with students, a teacher can have the children plant seeds in a cup and watch them grow. If they have the space needed, they also can plant in the school yard to make it more beautiful. Instead of taking the garden or planting side of the story a teacher can have the students pick something that they want to change or improve for the community. As a class the students can vote on one student's idea and use it as a service learning project. Together the children can collaboratively improve an area of their community.

Great Lesson Plan Ideas!

This blogg was created by Alyse Riggitano & Jenna Feminello

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