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.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm Not Too Little To Help The Earth

Author: W.Y. Taylor
Illustrator: Natalia Vasquez
Grade Level: K-1

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Summary: I'm Not Too Little To Help The Earth is about young children and how they can easily help the earth during their daily activities. It talks about how kids can recycle and turn old products into something new. For example, the author suggests coloring on both sides of paper to save paper, and also how that can be made into a card for someone. It tells children to turn off the television and lights when they go outside to play so that they can save electricity, and also to turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth to save water. By doing all of these things, children can help save the earth.

Social Justice Element 6: This book relates to the the element of taking social action. The book is a simple guide for young children. It shows them how their actions can help make a change in the world. It provides suggestions for different things that children can do first hand to help save their environment, and promotes the idea of trying to solve a problem by taking action.

Activity: The students will read I'm Not Too Little To Help The Earth. The class will then have a discussion about how all of the actions the children in the book have taken can help the environment, and how it is important for them to do their part to help the planet. They will talk about how one shouldn't waste water and electricity because it is bad for the earth. They will also talk about the meaning of recycling. They will come to understand that by recycling certain products, like paper, and plastic, it can help make the earth a cleaner place. The students will then engage in their own form of recycling by making a craft out of recycled materials. They will take used plastic bottles and create pencil holders or vases for their parents. They'll cut the tops off of the plastic bottles and decorate them as they please and then bring them home to their parents to use. This activity is fun and engaging, but is also an opportunity for the children to see first hand how easy it is to recycle, and turn something that may have seemed useless into something very useful.

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