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 29, 2010

I Have a Dream

Author: Margaret Davidson
Grade: K-3

Buy it here!

Discussion Guide!

Summary: "I have a Dream" is a children's book written for children who are in kindergarten through third grade. The book is a biography about the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and gives children a better understanding of segregation and what it was like to grow up in the south back then as an African American.

Throughout, the book the author highlights the many non violent ways in which King fought to end segregation. For example, she explores the many speeches he gave and marches he led. In this book it is evident that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a true leader and wanted to change the world for the better.

Taking Social Action
: "I have a Dream" is a great book that can be used in the classroom to talk about taking social action. This book provides children with an example of a great man who at a young age successfully took social action to change the world for the better. Element six is really represented in this book because it shows children that no matter what their circumstances may be if they take action it is possible that the situation can be changed.

Activitiy: This book would be appropriate to use for an activity on "Taking Social Action." After reading this book with my children I would ask my students to explain what the story was about. Next I would allow time for questions and discuss with them Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a social activist and the non violent ways he acted to end segregation. Then I would split my students into pairs and have them each research a positive social activist and the actions they took. Next I would have them make small collages about the social activists they researched and their actions. After I would have them do a museum walk. After we would come together as a class and pick a current issue we would like to help change. Then as a class we wold brainstorm actions we could take and to conclude we would take action.

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