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

It's Your World - If You Don't Like It, Change It

Activism for Teenagers

Title: It's Your World- If You Don't Like It, Change It
Author: Mikki Halpin
Ages: Reading level is for young adults. Grades 7-12 but the activities and ideas can be used with children of any age.
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Summary: “It's Your World- If You Don't Like It, Change It ”, by Mikki Halpin is a book that promotes activism for teenagers by providing information and ideas to start change. Some of the topics and themes included in this book are: helping animals, fighting racism, saving the environment, ending war, fighting the HIV/AIDS Spread, stopping bullying, defending women's rights, protecting civil rights, and promoting tolerance for LGBTQ. This book provides students with the encouragement and guidance on how to change to the world. The book emphasizes taking stands on issues that are important and that you care about. This book has examples and stories of other students who have made a difference. Halpin provides numerous websites and books for each topic included in the book along with websites and books for other social justice organizations.

Social Action: This book is a primary example of ways to promote and take social action in schools, at home, or in the community. This book gives students ideas and examples that they can use to create and make a difference. I thought this book was perfect for element 6 because it touches upon numerous issues that are important. The reading level is more advanced, but general ideas and action can be taken at any age.

Put to use: In a classroom setting this book can be great by providing your students with new ideas and ways to take social action. I would love to use many of the examples provided in the book for my own classroom. For example, Starting a Gay/Straight Alliance at your own school could be so beneficial and impacting. This really teaches students to accept each other and can help eliminate school violence and bullying. Another great idea is the Bullying Box. Students can report bullying here anonymously, but still make sure these instances are being noted. I feel that these simple tactics can make such an impact.

Teachers Ideas for Social Action

Ellen Chapin

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