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

The Kid's Guide to Social Action

Name: The Kid's Guide to Social Action
Author: Barbara A. Lewis
Grade/Age: 8 and above (3rd grade and older)
(Can preview a few pages of the book too, just click on the picture where it says "Look Inside")
This website can help give teachers ideas about the type of social action students can take part in using the tools learned from The Kid's Guide to Social Action.

Summary: The Kid's Guide to Social Action is a great book that gives children the motivation to go out and make a difference, while providing them with the information to do so. Lewis provides true stories of children of all ages who have made a difference, showing that no one is too young to begin change. The best thing about this is that it not only motivates children to make a difference, but it gives them the tools to be able to do this successfully. Reproducable forms are given to start petitions, write speeches, and announce ideas. The Kid's Guide to Social Action also provides the steps to approach lawmakers at all levels of the government.

Social Justice Element 6: In element 6, teachers are supposed to provide their students with the skills to create change. The Kid's Guide to Social Action specifically focuses on giving children the tools to make a difference in this world. No person is too young or to old to make a difference and this book makes a point of that. Steps are provided to give students the confidence and motivation to change a problem they do not agree with. One of the reasons I chose this book is because it can be used for any problem students want changed, not just one specific problem.

How I would use this book: This 6 elements should always be in the back of a teacher's mind when doing any lesson, however, I think that element 6 is the hardest to plan for. Students can become passionate about any topic and if that opportunity presents itself, I think the teacher should jump on board! This book can be used for an opportunity like that. In my classroom, though, I plan to have this book where all students can see/use it so taking social action can always be on their mind. The forms provided in the book can be great for teachers to use when this opportunity does present itself! Students should be encouraged to make a difference and this book does just that!

Click here for another great review of the book!

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