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

The Distant Talking Drum

The Distant Talking Drum

The Distant Talking Drum by Isaac Olaleye

Summary: This book is a collection of poems about culture in Nigeria. They describe daily life in the rain forest, such as weaving, going to the market, or working on a farm. Each poem is accompanied by a full-page illustration.

Reflection/Classroom Uses: I found this at the Teaching for Change bookstore in Busboys and Poets. I was drawn to it because of the beautiful illustrations and the authentic portrayal of life for the people of Nigeria. This would obviously be great to include in any poetry unit and look at his use of non-rhyming poems, alliteration, and strong imagery. It would also be interesting to talk about how the small parts of our daily lives reveal a lot about our culture, and children could write their own poems.

Domains of Social Justice: Self-Love and Acceptance: The author is very proud of his heritage, and students can write their own poems of important aspects of their lives. Respect for Others: Students can learn about the author's culture from an authentic, unbiased portrayal that does not include any stereotypes but is honest about all aspects of his life.

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