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, November 11, 2014

Title: Let it Shine 
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Stephen Alcorn
Grade Level: 2nd and up

Let it Shine is a fantastic informational text filled with short stories of prominent women Freedom Fighters who helped spark the crusade against racial and gender inequality for women. The stories explore the lives of each Freedom Fighter and explain not only only the accomplishments each made for the inequality movement, but also the stories of their pasts and the instances that provoked interest in the movement. This is a story about courage in the face of inequality, oppression, prejudice and fear. It is a story that expresses the importance of standing up for what one believes in and pushing for change.

Element 4: Social Movement and Social Change 
This book is an excellent resource to use for element four. It is filled with over ten stories of strong, independent women who fought for a cause and pushed for a change in the way society viewed and handled gender and racial difference. This book will not only inform students on the Freedom Fighter movement but also fill them with ideas of courage, persistence, strength and determination that can be applied to many aspects of their lives. 

How I would use this in the Classroom
I would use this book in my classroom in an interactive and fun way. However I think it is quite important to introduce the topic of inequality and discrimination prior to using the book. After a discussion with your students and gauging their thoughts, perspectives and ideologies on/about discrimination and inequality I would conduct the activity using the book. I would break the class into 10 small groups around the room. Each group will have a blown up picture of the Freedom fighter, a large blank poster board, markers as well as a copy of the book. The students will work together to learn about each Freedom Fighter by reading and jotting down important bullets on the poster board. (Make sure you give ample time for students to accurately learn and jot down information about each Freedom Fighter before rotating them to the next group). After all posters are created conduct a "museum walk" and have all students walk around the room to look at each poster. 

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