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.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Color Is My World?

Author: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Raymond Obstfeld
Illustrator: Ben Boos & A. G. Ford
Grade Level: 3rd-5th

Ella and Herbie are twins who are moving into a new home that needs fixing up. With the help of the handy man Roger Edward Mital they discovery many things while they touch up their new place. As they go through the home, each room brings up a new African American inventor that he introduces them to. He shows them how important these people are and without the help of them we wouldn’t be able to do certain things in our everyday life. He introduces them to the African America History of scientist and inventors, which the children had never learned about. The children then realize that African American history is not just about slavery and sports. In the end they discover that the handy man was more than who he says he was. This book introduces the lost history of AMERICAN history.

Element 1 Self Love and Knowledge:
This book is a great example of showing all children the lost history of great investors who weren’t all recognized in history. The children will learn knowledge of those investors and how they are important in our everyday life as things we use. This will give children the self love they need in order to gain confidence and inspire them to dream and purse what they might have thought was impossible.

This book is great for class discussion, after reading with the whole class, you can talk about the history and inventors in the book and what the children liked about the book. After the discussion I would let each student look very closely at the book before letting them make their own “What Color Is My World Book” by including inventors that they are inspired by. Another activity would be to let the children in detail invent something or enhance something already invented and share with the class why they invented it or enhanced it. As a project I would assign an inventor from the book to each child and let them do further research on that person and present it in class with the visual art they've created as their display.

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