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.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Everybody Cooks Rice

Title: Everybody Cooks Rice

Author: Norah Dooley

Illustrator: Peter J. Thornton

Carrie needs to find her younger brother, Anthony for dinner. She leaves her house and looks for him in the neighborhood. As she is trying to find him at different houses she learns everyone is eating rice dishes from many different cultures. She tastes rice dishes from Barbados, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, India, China, and Haiti. As she arrives home she finds her brother, and also sees her mother cooking a rice dish from Italy. Recipes for the dishes mentioned are in the back of the book.

Respect For Others-This book represents element two because it brings various cultures together and makes children realize that different cultures do have things in common. It makes children respect all the cultures. In this case everyone was using rice to make a food related to their culture. The book also pointed out what food dishes using rice were important to that specific culture. For example, Carrie eats a dish from Puerto Rico with yellow rice and pigeon peas. She was amazed when she realized the rice was yellow.

For a follow up activity, I would have the students go home and talk to their parents about their culture. I would have them find out what food dishes are important to their culture, and find a dish that had rice in it. Then I would have them write a short a paragraph on it and bring in a recipe so I could make a recipe book for the class for every student to take home.I would also like to have a “International Food Day” in my classroom with different foods from different cultures.

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