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

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Summary: (See Kristin's comment)

Reflection: (See Kristin's comment)

How I would use this in the classroom:
This book could be taken in so many different directions. There are so many different issues that are thoroughly touched upon in this book: immigration, racism, sexism, classism, even ageism. Students could be challenged to look at the different issues of social issues in this book, choose one that speaks to them, then do a "study" of that social issue - how have they/others been affected by this issue, why, where, etc. It's also perfect for book groups. You could even group kids by the different social issues that they are interested in (one group could focus on the immigration aspect, one could focus on sexism, etc.) Pam Munoz Ryan is a wonderful author and it would be great to do an author study of her (I think Hannah is doing that in her class pretty soon). 

Domains of Social Justice:
Self-Love and Acceptance: Esperanza and her family clearly have a deep appreciation for their culture and it comes through very vividly in the book.
Respect for Others: Esperanza is always learning about this throughout the book, so it is easy to make parallels.
Exploring Issues of Social Justice: This book deals with TONS of issues (immigration, racism, sexism, ageism, classism).
Social Movements and Social Change: This book is partly based on a true story. Esperanza and her family experience social change by moving to the U.S. There are lots of issues around immigration and social change touched upon in this book.

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