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

We Dream of a World

We Dream of a World

Title: We Dream of a World...
Authors: Scholastic; Classroom of students from University City, Missouri

This book is made by a classroom of students and dedicates a page to each social justice issue they wanted to focus on. Each page/topic includes facts and a few ideas of what we can do to help this issue. Some of the issues include hunger, homelessness, education, pollution and peace. This is a great way to not only introduce many topics of social justice to your class, but also to show them that kids can make a difference.

I would use this book to introduce and incorporate social justice themes into my classroom by reading a page/issue biweekly. This would give them a chance to brainstorm ideas of how they could help. They would then be encouraged to write letters, educate their peers, or incorporate other ideas and activities to take social action. This book could be incorporated into thematic units, or integrated into multiple areas such as literacy, math, or science and health. An example would be to look into a nutrition unit and encourage the school to sell healthier snacks in the lunchroom by writing letters to the school board.

This book covers three levels of social justice education. 3 because it shows issues of social injustice; 4 because it suggests ways for social change; and 5 because it encourages the opportunity to make a difference.

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