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, September 9, 2008



Summary: Cendrillon is Caribbean Cinderella and because it is told in one of the Caribbean island the author uses the local fruit and animals in the story. Cendrillon mother was very sickly and she died when she was still a baby. Before she died she asked a washerwoman who works for their family to be Cendrillon godmother. Cendrillon father remarried and had another daughter. As cendrillon grew older her stepmother made her do all the work and treated her badly scarcely giving her any food to eat. One day Cendrillon came to river very sad. She told the washerwoman that there is going to be a birthday dance for Monsieur Thibualt son and everyone is invited and she really would like to go but her stepmother told her that she cannot go to the ball. The washerwoman promised Cendrillon that she would go to the ball. Although she had no idea how she was going to keep her promise to Cendrillon, the washerwoman couldn’t stand to see Cendrillon so unhappy.
How to use this book: It can be used as a comparison to the many ways the Cinderella story can be told. It is also a story of encourage and hope, because although she was treated unfairly, she never acted maliciously. Students can take it from the prospective on how everyone should be treated equally.
Domains of social justice:
1) Self love and acceptance: Students can be encouraged to discuss similar stories in their cultures. They would begin to understand and accept the various cultures within their classroom.
2) Respect for others: Students can learn that despite a person race or culture everyone should be treated equally and fairly. In the book, the character expresses humility and strength and eventually prevails at the end.
3) Exploring issues of social justice: Students can discuss inequality and why it is important to treat everyone the same regardless of their race or culture. Students can also explore what it’s like to be treated differently.
4) Social Movements and social change: This book can be used as a stepping stone to explore other forms of inequality. Students can learn about discrimination and social action and how people have struggled to make a stand.

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