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, April 21, 2015

Element 6- Social Action

The Berenstain Bears: No Girls Allowed 

By: Stan & Jan Berenstain

Grade:  K-2
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"No Girls Allowed" is a book about a little cub girl who always tagged along with her brother and his friends. At first Sister Bear ran slower than the Brother Bear and his friends, she could not climb trees as high as Brother Bear and his friend, and she did not know how to play with marbles. But as she grew older, Sister Bear became better at running, climbing trees and playing marbles than Brother Bear and his friends. Brother Bear and his friends were tired of seeing Sister Bear always winning.Therefore, they decided to build a secret clubhouse to stay away from Sister Bear. On the outside of the clubhouse it had a big sign that said, "No Girls Allowed". When Sister Bear find out about this, she was very upset. She decided to build her own clubhouse and do not allow any boys in the house. Furthermore, on opening day of the Sister Bear's club house, Papa Bear put some honeycomb and salmon on the barbecue. Everything smelled so delicious that it went all the way to the Boys clubhouse. They followed the smell all the way to where Papa Bear was cooking. Once the girls saw all the boys outside the clubhouse, they decided to vote and allowed the boys to come in. After eating the delicious meal, Brother Bear invited the girls to their clubhouse for dessert. Now the sign at the boys clubhouse changed, from being "No Girls Allowed" to "Girls Welcome".

Element 6- Taking Social Action

This book represents element 6, social action. Sister Bear was very upset and mad for what Brother Bear and his friends did to her. They didn't want to play with her, they were hiding from her and they did not allowed her in the clubhouse. Therefore, Sister Bear felt she must do something. She truly believed that this was "not fair". Sister Bear build her own clubhouse, and even though she did not wanted to see any boys there, she allowed them to come and eat with her and her friends.  Sister Bear took action on what felt it was wrong. She believed that what the boys were doing was not fair, and she stand up for her self and feelings.


After reading this story to students, and explaining what element 6 is about, I would have them share with a partner a time where they felt something was not fair to them. Then, I would have students share their answers. After this, students will write a letter to a person that made them feel something  "was not fair" explaining how they felt, and what they would do in order to change the situation. They will also write what social action they will take.

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