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.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Michael Recycle

Author: Ellie Bethel
Illustrator: Alexandra Colombo
Grade Level: K-5


Michael Recycle is a picture book about Michael who is a superhero. Michael goes from town-to-town helping them learn and appreciate their environment and informs the townspeople to recycle. The book has a rhyming scheme from front to back. Also, something that I really enjoyed was that at the very back of the book, there are Michael Recycles's Go Green Tips. These tips teachers can use to create lesson plans based on their students and grade level. 

Element 5:

The picture book Michael Recycle is a great example of what Element 5 represents/stands for: a young boy taking charge and showing the townspeople of Abberdoo-Rimey how and why they should recycle. The book brings to light a current social issue that many people look past. Hopefully using this book can enlighten our young students and from there we can start to see more changes in the right direction.


After reading Michael Recycle, I would ask students to point out what are examples of items that we can and can not recycle. As they tell me the items I will write the down on chart paper and post the list near the trash can and recycle bin (as they can refer to it before they throw their particular items away) and to reinforce the awareness throughout the year. Also, the class could walk around the school grounds and point out/pick up items and decide if it is something that is thrown away or recycled. 

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