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, October 31, 2011

Don't Throw that Away

Author: Lara Bergen
Illustrator: Betsy Snyder
Grade Level: P-1
Buy it here


“Don’t throw that away” by Lara Bergen, is about a little super hero girl who shows children how to reuse their trash to make other treasures with them. Instead of discarding old toys, cans, clothes, bottles etc, she gives children suggestions of how you can reuse those objects to make brand new and exciting things to play with and be environmentally friendly at the same time. The little girl gives kids ideas of turning an old jar into a vase or cans into musical instruments and much more.

Element # 5:

This book raises awareness to children on how important it is to be environmentally conscious. It is a beginner’s book in learning about our environment and the impact recycling has on it. It provides excellent examples on how we can make our everyday life more environmentally friendly by recycling and reusing our things. It gives children an opportunity to think and figure out ways of reusing their material things such as turning old clothes into costumes, boxes into cars and turning plastic jugs into bird feeders. The book gives a whole different perspective to children about things that they take for granted and how they can be creative with reusing their things. It is an opportunity for them to learn that they can make a difference.


A great activity that can be used in class (or at home) based on this book is to give an opportunity to children to find objects in the classroom (or home) that they can reuse in some way. Have them explain to classmates what their object is and what creative ideas they came up with in order to reuse and recycle this object.

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