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

My Brother Martin

"My Brother Martin" by Christine King Farris

"My Brother Martin" by Christine Kind Farris
This book can be purchased here:

Summary: This book chronicles the early years of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life as told through the eyes of his sister Christine. This book gives reader's a glimpse into what it was like to grow up with a man who would, one day, change the world. When two neighbors inform Martin and his brother that they can no longer play with them because they are black, the seeds of greatness were planted. Inspired by this incident to change the world, Martin declares that "... one day I'm going to turn this world upside down." 

Reflection: From catastrophic piano lessons to pulling pranks on neighbors, Dr. King Jr.'s childhood seems to touch upon common experiences that we can all relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and saw a part of a man whose name I've known since I was a child that I've never seen before. This book shows the familiarity of the human experience and inspires all!

How I would use this in the classroom: This book is phenomenal to show students that they can achieve remarkable feats. Students can make connections between Dr. King Jr.'s childhood and their experiences. They can relate to this great man in a way that I dn't think I ever did as a child. 

I also found some links to other educator's lesson plans. They can be found here:
Domains of Social Justice: 

3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice - This book touches upon racism when Dr. King Jr.'s neighbors won't play with him because he is black. This is a defining moment in Dr. King's quest for equality, it's one of the first times he is confronted head on with racism.

4. Social Movements and Social Change - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a key figure in the fight for civil rights in America. This book sheds light on his life before he became the man we all know today. 

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