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

How to Make the World a Better Place

Title: How to Make the World a Better Place: A Guide to Doing Good

Author: Jeffrey Hollender

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Grade/ Reading Level: Grade 5

Summary: How to make the world a better place is a specific guide that provides over 120 social actions that can make the world a better place. Each action is introduced by background and explanatory material followed by a “What You can Do” section that contains one or a series of specific actions. The books provide not only the actions but facts, figures, and good information which teaches readers about the issues at hand, before giving them a guide on how to take action. A few actions discussed in this guide include: Environmental Actions, actions on how to heat more water with less energy for fewer dollars, and “Bread for the world” passing legislation to end world hunger. This book will provide students with different ways in which they can take action on issues that affect their communities. It is a perfect guide for helping students create change.

How does it represent Element 6-Taking Social Action: This book provides specific social actions that students can use as a guide to help in making the world a better place. It not only gives the students examples of social actions they can take but also gives facts on the issues at hand and provides students with a concise guide to some of the most essential resources they can use to start making positive changes. Students can find the social actions that appeal to them or that they are passionate about and learn more about them in order to take action. The purpose of this book is for students to start taking action in order to help make a difference.

How I’d use the book: I would have students choose at least three of the actions in this book and then have them come up with how they would go about creating social change. I’d then have the students in groups facilitate their own march with creative signs they will make that are promoting some type of positive change. I’d want students to feel good about taking action to promote change.

Lesson Plan and follow up activity:

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