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 23, 2013

The Earth Book

Author: Todd Parr
Illustrator: Todd Parr
Grade level: Second

The author tells a story about how a child would take care of the earth and their reasons why they want to care for the earth. It gives students ideas of what they could do at home to help take care of the earth and have an understanding of what great things they will enjoy from positive actions. For instance, a child explains that when he brushes his teeth he will turn off the faucet, and use less water for his baths because he wants the ocean to stay blue. This helps students understand to appreciate water and be mindful on how much they use. It touches upon saving energy, recycling, not waste food, and saving the trees. The ending of the story tells students that everyone can help protect the earth, make it feel good, and to remember if everyone does then earth would take care of us.
Element 6 Social Action
The book is perfect to present social action since it talks about the issues and solutions of what could go wrong around the earth if we do not take care of it. Introducing them at a young age can help improve their actions as they grow older and be mindful with their actions. This book promotes positive actions for what children can do to save energy, water, and care for the trees. It gives them an idea that all the wonders of earth could be damaged if they do not take positive actions to care. As a teacher it is a perfect opportunity to help solve issues that affect students and their communities as well as create a better change.
I would present this book on Earth day for my second grade class, and read this book to show them tips on what they could do to care for the earth. I would have each student write to me how they can help others and inform them to care for the earth to see if they understood what I read to them. Then I will give out a small plastic container to each student so they could decorate it and use it in their room to recycle plastics, paper, or use it for their own purpose to help keep the earth clean.  It will be an arts and crafts activity so the plastic container can be a reminder when they go home to help recycle. This will also teach them to take responsibility on to what should be thrown out in the garbage and what could be recycled. It will be entertaining for them to color it or cut and paste pictures so they personalized their own recycling container.

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