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 People Could Fly

The People Could Fly

Title: The People Could Fly
Author: Virginia Hamilton
Illustrators: Leo and Diane Dillon

Summary: .
"The People Could Fly," is a fantasy tale that tells of how some enslaved Africans had wings and could fly. In order for them to escape the abuses of slavery, they began to sing some ancient African magic words. This allowed their bodies to lift into the sky and fly away to freedom.
This would be a great book to use for Social Studies. Lessons could be taught on how the Africans were taken from their homeland and put on slave ships and brought to new lands as slaves. I also think that this book could be used for a performance in Drama. I would have students create costumes with wings, and have them re-enact the story. .
Social Justice Education:
This book covers all 5 areas of social justice. Students can learn to love and accept themselves and their roots, while others can respect their differences. Students will learn the forms of oppression of slavery and racism, and how they can use books like this to create non-violent social change. Additionally, students can take social action to protect people's rights.

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