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.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Author:  Victoria Kann
Age Level:  4-8

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Emeraldaldalicious is about a young girl, Princess Pinkalicious, and her brother Peter.  They go on a walk in a park that is near her house.  During their stroll, Pinkalicious falls and breaks her favorite wand.  Peter suggests that she uses a twig and various materials that they find on the ground of the park.  Out of nowhere, the new wand lights up and starts flying through the sky.  Pinkalicious and Peter are so confused, but also excited that the new wand is magical!  The brother and sister duo follow the wand and end up at the place in the park where they used to always eat lunch.  However, when they arrived they saw that the entire area was covered in trash.  It was extremely dirty and had a foul smell.  The wand guided them and helped Pinkalicious and Peter turn the garbage into beautiful thrones and flowers.  Finally, the wand flies away but leaves Peter and Pinkalicious with the seeds that will help the make the park more beautiful and into “The Greentastic Garden.”

Element 5: Raising Awareness
I think that Emeraldalicious is a good book to represent element 5, raising awareness.  It raises awareness about how trash builds up and ruins the natural world.  The magical wand guides Pinkalicious and Peter to a place that they used to frequently visit.  When they arrive, they see how the pollution ruined the once beautiful park.  The wand also showed them how recycling could create beautiful new things.  While reading this book, the reader can see how Pinkalicious and Peter became aware of the effects of pollution.

Classroom Activity
In my classroom I would first read the book to the class.  After reading I would have the students go back to their table group and come up with a definition for recycling and a definition for pollution.  I would have each group share their definitions.  Then I would tell the class to go home and find anything that they are not using or that their family is throwing away.  For example:  old egg cartons, coffee tins, old string, etc…  I would then explain that tomorrow in class we were going to create something new from our old trash.  During that class time the students would also write “How-To” guides with their group.  When the class was finished with the assignment, we would do a gallery walk to see everyone’s projects and “how-to” guides.

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