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, February 7, 2011

You Can Do It!

Title: You Can Do It!

Author: Tony Dungy

Illustrator: Amy June Bates

Purchase at:

Teacher resource:

SJE: Element 1: Self-love and Knowledge

Grade Level: Fourth Grade

Summary: This book is about a little boy named Linden who is upset from a toothache and discouraged that he cannot find what his "it" is. All of his classmates knew what they wanted to do when they grow up but Linden did not. He is feeling really down and he is encouraged by his parents to always dream and have faith. Linden's parents' words of wisdom directed him on his path of finding his dream and acquiring faith in God.

Element #1 Self-love and knowledge: This story represents Element #1 because by the end of the book, Linden was able to dream big, develop confidence and have faith in God. This story also represents this element because Linden's religion and belief in God was enforced by his family throughout the entire book and it gave him a sense of dignity towards his religion.

Activity: I would use this book in the classroom to teach a lesson to my students about having dreams and goals in life. The students will dream about what they want to be when they grow up and make a poster about what they have dreamed to be or do in their future. They will then share their dreams with their classmates. All the students will be able to better understand themselves and their classmates as well.

I really enjoyed the faith aspect to this story and the uplifting inspiration.

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