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

Can You Say Peace?

Can You Say Peace?

Title: Can You Say Peace?
Author: Karen Katz

Summary: This colorful picture book presents children from diverse countries around the world who call for peace in many languages. Each page introduces the reader to a variety of cultures and displays pictures of daily life activities in each country. Katz presents a picture of a kid in each page with his or her name and the word peace in their language written side by side with the pronunciation. This book is great to present to younger students on the United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21st) and other class activities that deal with peace and safety.
Reflection: I find this book to be just right, especially for a read aloud in celebration of the United Nations International Peace day. Karen Katz introduces diversity in a very colorful way starting from the cover that is a collage and presents different children from different backgrounds that come together in the name of peace. Towards the end Katz points out the International Day of Peace and states that no matter where these kids come from, they each have one thing in common that is: they want to go to school, play outside safely, and share food with their families in a peaceful and safe environment. The illustrations in this book are very colorful, vivid, collage like, and allows its readers to find images that evoke the happiness in each kid's portrait. I believe that the main message of this book is very important and should be introduced to every classroom. It is that everyone on this globe should have the right to peace no matter what country or language they speak. Overall, I enjoy how Katz shows where the children come from and the different languages they speak, along with a final list of additional countries with their names, language, and the word peace and its pronunciation in that specific language.

Social Justice Education: (Respect for others and social change)This book definitely ties in with both, respect for others and social change as it projects children from around the world teaching us how to say the word peace in different languages. In addition, students will learn about the International Peace Day that is on September 21st and what it means to children from around the world. I mostly enjoyed how the author invites us to participate on a colorful voyage around the world to meet different children and learn other ways to say peace. It is nice to see all cultures come together at the end of the book and say the word peace all at once.

Activities:- Good for introducing the concept of peace to younger students.
- This book fits in perfectly when discussing about peace in our homes, school, and around the world.
- Good for read aloud on International Peace Day, on the first day of school to introduce classroom rules, and/or to help students to become aware of the importance of peace in this world.
- Great for engaging students to learn about appropriate behaviors that help preserve peace in our world.

Crafts:- Students may create their own peace flags and hang them in the classroom.
- Students can draw, color, and present different peace symbols and display them in the classroom.


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