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:Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson is about a young boy who is growing up in foster care. The story is told through a book of poems. Lonnie, also known as Locomotion, expresses his experiences in school, with his foster mom, his sister, and memories of his parents in all different forms of poems. The story deals with deep issues regarding race, social class, and war. 

Reflection/ Activities: Our group felt that this book would be a great resource for the classroom. The story deals with so many deep issues through the eyes of a child. We thought that students would be able to connect to the reading easily, which would help to lead to activities in the classroom. This book could be used for literacy lessons on different forms of poetry. The book also leads to a great discussion on different family types. It would also be good for discussing writing as a form of expression, which could also lead to a deeper discussion of how you can use writing for change. 

Domains of Social Justice:
Self Love and Acceptance: Lonnie is very proud of his family and background. Through his poetry and writing we see that Lonnie appreciates where he comes from and is not ashamed of who he is. 

Respect for Others: Lonnie shows respect for others through his relationship with Edna and his friends at school. He also shows respect through his relationship with his sister whose foster parents disapprove of him since he is a black boy.

Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Locomotion explores racism through Lonnie's experience at school and through his relationship with his sister's foster parents.

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