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.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friends From The Other Side

Author: Gloria Anzaldua

Illustrator: Consuelo Mendez

Grade Level: K-5

Buy it here:

Summary: This is a story about Prietita a young Mexican American girl who meets a Mexican boy by the name of Joaquin. Joaquin is a Mexican immigrant boy who along with his mother crossed the Rio Grande to Texas in search for a better life. Prietita stands for what she believes is write and kind by defending Joaquin from being bullied by the neighborhood kids. Prietita becomes friends with Joaquin leaving behind the differences of culture and language. She demonstrates kindness and loyalty to those who are less fortunate. She also demonstrates the important of being a friend and showing respect for others.

Element 2: This is a good book to teach students how to show respect for others. Prietita was not afraid to stand up for her new friend Joaquin who was being bullied by the neighborhood kids. Prietita and Joaquin where open to each other and did not allow the culture differences get in the way of them building a new friendship. They show respect and kindness to each other and this is an example of how we should treat other no matter if they are different or illegal.

Activity: The students could discuss different ways that they could show respect for others. Then they could write about a moment in their life when they demonstrated respect and how did it made them and the other person feel. Lastly; the students could share their experience with the class by reading their written work aloud to the classmates.

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