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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

31 Ways to Change the World

Title: 31 Ways to Change the World

Author: 4,386 children, We Are What We Do© and YOU!

Grade Level: 3+


Buy it here!

Summary:  This colorful text is a fun list of simple actions that anyone can take to change the world.  This text is a compilation of kids' ideas for ways that we can all make little changes to change the world.  The book addresses small things that each of us can do to make big changes in global, national, community, and individual levels.  It's focus is getting a lot of people to make small changes.  Because the actions were contributed by kids, they range from walking your dad and teaching your grandmother to text to taking shorter showers to conserve water and planting seeds for home-grown food.  Kid-friendly and informative, the book has statistics, ways to change those statistics, and even some outcomes for what the small actions you make can make a big difference.

Element Six: This book is representative of Element Six: Taking Social Action because it has social actions for everyone.  Ranging from changing something small in daily habits to going out of your way to make small changes, all these activities have big outcomes, especially when lots of people do them! The book also addresses several social injustices, including bullying, environmental issues and animal rights.  It is a definite how-to for students of all ages over 8 years old. The last action is to create your own social action to change the world.  This prompts students to get involved in taking social action and sharing their ideas online for others to take action in.

Activity: Read the book as a whole, or pick one activity from the book to highlight as a lesson.  As a class, you could have them decide on everyone doing one of the activities in their daily life, or have students choose their own actions that they would like to complete from the book.  Another activity would be to have the students come up with their own social actions for the end of the book and add them to the We Are What We Do© website.