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.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Element 6: Taking Social Action: Where Does the Garbage Go?

Title: Where Does the Garbage Go?
Author: Paul Showers
Illustrated: Randy Chewning
Grade Level: K-2
Element 6: Taking Social Action
Buy it here =D !

This book is narrated by a student who talks about what she is learning in the classroom about garbage. The book continues to fulfill the readers with very important facts like, how people use to get rid of trash and where it went.  It also talks about the process of where trash was piled, which became a problem the waste was affecting the ocean animals and would float back to the beaches where people were swimming! YUCK! The book explains how they changed the way they consumed trash by making landfills and making parks out of them. It also shows statistics that 50% of paper is in our landfill! So what could the students do to help make waste reusable? The teacher introduces the concept of recycling. It explains the way you can recycle at home, and what you could recycle. Finally, what can the students do to help the environment? The book demonstrates a "how-to'' section on ways you can recycle at home and the characters in the book continue to recycle in their community.

Element 6- Taking Action:
This book is representing element 6 because it provides opportunities to take action on issues that affect students and their communities. The story clearly shows why waste can be a problem, like pollution in the air and land that can be harmful to them. The students in the story feel passionate about what they are learning and uses their knowledge about it to create a small change first hand.

This book is an informative book, and I would use it as part of a whole week lesson plan. It has different sections of learning that can be separated into different activities. For example, the story emphasizes how paper, metal, plastic and other recyclable materials are recycled. We can do a science project in making paper. Click here for instructions on how to make paper. I would also have a field trip to a landfill, just like it is told in the book.  You can ask your students to make sure to recycle at home, and find out when are the recycling and waste days to make sure that they are recycling at home. I would also do an outside activity where the students are asked to go around the school and pick up any garbage or recyclable items and sort them out to their appropriate spots.

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