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, March 23, 2015

Sandy's Incredible Shrinking Footprint

Title:  Sandy's Incredible Footprints
Author: Femida Handy and Carole Carpenter
Illustrator: Adrianna Steele-Card
Grade Level:Pre-School-3 years old
More info and where you can purchase this book

Summary: Sandy's Incredible Shrinking Footprint by Femida Handy and Carole Carpenter is a short children's picture book that discusses the importance of recycling and doing your part in helping keep the environment clean.  Sandy goes to her grandfather's house every summer and brings her dog, Pepper.  One day while they are walking on the beach she comes across all this garbage people chose to leave behind and not clean up.  Sandy is disgusted that people would choose to ruin a beautiful place like a beach to garbage.  She then meets "the garbage lady" who helps her clean up the garbage on the beach and also teaches her that everyone has a footprint on earth and it is their job to make their footprint shrink.  This symbolizes the idea that everyone has a duty which is to respect and take care of the environment, and it is therefore the responsibility of each person to do things that will benefit the environment like recycling which makes your footprint shrink.

Element of Social Justice: (Social Movements and Social Change): This book represents Social Movement and Social change because it introduces the idea of recycling to young children with helps them learn that not recycling can create negative problems for the environment.  It also says that if people work together and shrink their footprints everyone will be working together to keep the environment healthy and clean.  Littering is an example of a social injustice and people working together to fix this injustice by taking a stand and recycling helps to address the issue and "shrink one's footprint"

How I would use this book in the classroom:  I would love to read this book to my young children during national recycling week.  I plan to prepare an activity that would involve student's making their own footprint and filling it with different ways they can shrink it and sharing this with the class and school as a whole.  I think this would be a good start to teach kids about littering and the importance of recycling to the environment.

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