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.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nutley: the Nut- Free Squirrel

Title: Nutley: the Nut-Free Squirrel

Author: Stephanie Sorkin

Illustrator: Tim Warren

Grade level: K-3


Nutley is a squirrel that has a nut allergy. One day Nutley was hungry so he went to eat peanuts and he started to get itchy. After thinking about what he ate, he saw a pattern and went to the doctor. The doctor told him that the best was to prevent this from happening again was to stay away from all things with nuts in them. Nutley went to go tell all of his animal friends to tell them about his allergy. Nutley found out that the dog was allergic to bones, the bee was allergic to pollen, and the pelican could not eat fish, to name a few. The group of friends shared their favorite treats and promised to keep each other safe from the foods they could not eat. This book is aimed at all children, not just those with allergies, to make them aware of different kinds of allergies. The personification of the characters in the book makes it appropriate for younger children in order for them to understand allergies better. At the end of the book, the author gives a recipe for a nut-free banana bread. 

Element 5: Raising Awareness

After Nutley has the reaction to eating the peanuts he brings this issue up to his friends, who in turn have allergies as well. This book represents Element 5, Raising Awareness, because it teaches children about different kinds of allergies and what precautions to take. The main character, Nutley, was depicted as raising awareness to his friends about his allergy. Students will already know about allergies, especially peanut allergies because so many school do not allow peanut butter. This book will act as a guide for the students to raise awareness about this topic in their classrooms and communities. 


The teacher will lead a short discussion of the story and different types of allergies. The students will come up with a list of different types of allergies and a short definition. Then, the students will break up into groups and design small posters to be hung up in the classroom that advocate a peanut free environment for students who do have this type of allergy. If a student(s) in the class has a different allergy then that group can also make a poster for that specific one. The posters will act as a reminder to all students to be safe around foods.

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