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, September 22, 2014

We're from CHINA!

Title:We're from China
Author: Emma Lynch
Grade Level: K-4
Social Justice Element 1: Self-Love/ Knowledge


Awesome additional resource for incorporating further discussion on Social Justice and student/human equity! 

    The We're From series provides real life experiences and photography following the lives of children living in the specified country. We're from China, provides young readers with an inside look into what life is like for 3 young children living in China. Along with following these three children, the book also provides information about China and great facts that will definitely inspire some great discussion and learning amongst students in the classroom. 

Element 1 Self-Love/ Knowledge 
     All of the books in the We're From series are excellent examples if seeking to cover the Social Justice element of Self-Love and Knowledge. In particular, We're From China provides an inside look into the lives of children living in China which allows students of Chinese descent to relate or further learn about their own culture. 

Application in the Classroom: 
     I will be purchasing the entire We're From series for my classroom's reading nook because learning about ones own culture as well as fellow classmates' cultures is such a vital component in gaining acceptance and conquering social justice not only in the classroom setting but in the larger society as well. Prior to presenting this book to the class I would conduct a hands-on activity that I like to call the "Where we are from" puzzle. For this activity, you will need to cut out large puzzle pieces for each student to write his/her home country and/or nationality and decorate. Allowing the students to work on the floor/ move tables etc as well as converse with one another during the creation of their puzzle piece will provide awesome communication amongst students that will help you lead into the introduction of We're from China. (Overhearing their conversations may also provide insight into how your students view difference and the questions they may have). When all students are finished with their puzzle piece, work together as a class to fit and tape the pieces together to make one large puzzle. Incorporate a small discussion on social justice, emphasize differences as characteristics that make each student unique and tie it together by showing how despite the different cultures/ nationalities of the students, the puzzle still connects just like humans will always be connected despite differences. 

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