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, September 8, 2008

Boys and Girls of the World

Boys and Girls of the World: From One End….. To the Other By Nuria Roca

“Boys and Girls of the World: From One End….. To the Other”, explores the lives of children all over the world. Readers will learn about different cultures, languages, holidays, schooling, climate, and environmental situations in places such as, China, North Alaska, Japan, Yugoslavia, Africa, Australia, and Egypt. Readers will meet a little boy named Pall from North Alaska who receives home schooling during the coldest months with the assistance of a computer and books on the internet, and another little boy named Draco from Yugoslavia, who was injured during a recent war. In addition, this book includes activities and guidelines for parents and teachers. This book will encourage students to learn about other children’s cultures all over the world and appreciate their diversity.

This book could be used to expand student’s knowledge and appreciation about diversity, and motivate them to become familiar with their peers culture, language, religion, and environment. Students will develop self-love and acceptance, respect and tolerance for oneself and others, and exploring issues of social justice in the classroom.

This book is a wonderful resource to use when teaching a lesson appreciating diversity and motivating students to acknowledge the differences and similarities between their peers. I would begin my lesson reading this book then have the students turn and talk sharing their ideas on what they noticed was different and the same between the children in the story. This will be followed by a class discussion. After the class discussion, I would pose an open-ended question such as, how do you celebrate your birthday? Independently, the students will write their response and draw a detailed depiction showing the traditional foods, games, and dances. When the students are finished they will post their writing near their drawing on the wall. The students will have 5-10 min. to walk around and observe their peers traditional way of celebrating their birthday. During the class discussion, I will motivate the students to share their ideas, opinions, and questions about their differences and similarities with their peers in a positive manner.

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