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.

Monday, April 8, 2013

When Sophie Gets Angry- Really, Really Angry...

Author: Molly Bang
Illustrator: Molly Bang
Grade Level: 1st-2nd grade

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Summary: The book, "When Sophie Gets Angry- Really, Really Angry..." is about a girl named Sophie who gets very angry when her mom tells her that it is her sister's turn to play with the toy that she is currently playing with. Sophie does not know how to handle her anger, so she starts kicking screaming and running around. After running until she is exhausted, she begins to cry because there is no outlet for her anger. She finds a way to deal with her anger by listening to the birds sing, climbing the tree and watching the waves of the water. She begins to calm down, feel better, and heads back home. Sophie has learned how to deal with her anger.

Element 5: Element 5 is about raising awareness, and how to engage students in understanding different issues around the world. This book introduces anger issues and introduces students to how one can deal with his/her anger. When thinking about raising awareness, anger is a topic that does not get brought up enough. Not knowing how to cope with anger issues can cause anxiety and can negatively impact social relationships and school work. I think it is important for students to be aware of how to cope with their anger. As someone who has had anger issues, people used to make me feel bad about getting angry, and as a future teacher, I think it is important for students to be aware on how to deal with their anger and positive coping methods. Sophie finds that watching the waves and listening to birds sing helped her to cope with her anger. This book provides students with the understanding of effective ways to cope with their anger, and not so effective ways to cope with their anger.

Activity: An activity that can be incorporated with this book, would be to have a class discussion on some things that we get angry about. Students can come up with anything that has made them angry in the past, without bringing up how they dealt with their anger. The teacher can write some of the reasons that the students bring up on the board. Then in small group discussion (around 3-4 students) they can talk about bad ways to deal with the anger, and good ways to deal with the anger. Then the class will come together for another discussion and effective coping methods. The teacher can put a t-chart on the board, one side saying bad and the other side saying good, and for each situation brought up, come up with a non-effective coping method do deal with the situation, and an effective coping method. Then we would talk about why these reasons were effective in dealing with anger. This will allow students to see what to do when they are faced with a situation that makes them angry.

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