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


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Uptown by Brian Collier

Uptown is a really wonderful story told through the eyes of a young boy who lives in Harlem, NY.  Through vibrant pictures in collage form, this special boy gives the reader a true sense of his pride in his culture and community.  The boy, who name is unknown to the reader, gives us a glance into parts of his community and life that are really important to him.  Special moments include shopping on 125th street, eating chicken and waffles, and passing the legendary Apollo Theatre.
How I Would Use this in the Classroom:
I believe this text is a really great opportunity to allow students to share their culture, family life, home life, and special memories within a classroom community.  This could be done through creative art, poetry, or even journal writing.  Students could begin expressing these ideas by writing their own story with the words, "I'm from..." and expanding upon the Uptown idea.

Domains of Social Justice:
1) Self-Love and Acceptance: This text will enable children to take a closer look at where they are from from many perspectives.

2) Respect for Others: Uptown and activities related to Uptown, will give the students the chance to look at cultures other than their own and appreciate their unique differences.

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