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, April 30, 2013

Service Learning in the PreK-3 Classroom

Title: Service Learning in the PreK-3 Classroom: The What, Why, and How-To Guide for Every Teacher

Author: Vickie E. Lake, Ph.D., and Ithel Jones, Ed.D.

Illustrator: Michelle Lee

Grade Level: Pre-school through 3rd Grade

Summary: This book is an excellent resource which can assist teachers in PreK through 3rd grade classrooms with implementing service learning and provides the necessary tools to carry out successful service learning projects within individual communities and beyond.  This resource also comes with a CD which includes a powerpoint presentation about service learning as well as printable PDF handouts to give students based on the activities that are in the book.  The book also includes many detailed lesson plans and activity ideas which will promote service learning and innovative ideas to engage your students in taking social action.  This teaching resource includes everything a teacher needs to successfully implement service learning in their classrooms and also provides teachers with various handouts to get their students involved in the planning  and completing of community projects.  

Element 6- Taking Social Action: This resource provides teachers with tools that are necessary to engage students in taking social action.  There are various lesson plans which are very detailed and seem easy to follow which will lead to teachers being able to help their students understand that it is very important to take social action and become involved in helping their individual communities and country as a whole.  The lesson plans and activity ideas all seem very innovative and appealing to students which will ultimately keep them engaged and motivate them to want to be involved in social action and take a hands on approach towards making a difference.

Activity:  This book would be very easy to use and is very practical for the planning and completion of service learning in the classroom.  If I were to use this book in my own classroom, I would utilize all of the planning tools that are provided such as the forms to help plan for service learning, brainstorming activities to come up with ideas for projects, and contact organizers to keep track of important contact information which will be needed for service projects.  I would also plan on picking 2-3 of the activities that would relate to some of the other content being taught in my classroom and would be sure to use the creative handouts included in the book to give to my students.  By using this book in my classroom, I feel that it will provide me with the opportunity to display how important taking social action is to my students because this book will help to make service learning projects fun and exciting as well as organized and beneficial to students' educational experiences.  

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