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.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Four Feet, Two Sandals

Title: Four Feet, Two Sandals
Authors: Karen Lynn Williams & Khadra Mohammed
Illustrator: Doug Chayka
Grade level: 1-5

Purchase it here!
For teacher guidelines written by one of the authors click here!

This story begins with Lina, a young girl living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. When the relief workers bring clothes to the camp, Lina manages to find one beautiful sandal. Her last pair of shoes were ruined from her family’s flee from Afghanistan, two years ago. She realizes another young girl picked up the second shoe named Feroza. They decide the best solution would be to share the shoes. Lina and Feroza become quick friends, sharing their struggles and memories of loss. One day, Lina finds out her family is selected to go to America. Feroza, who was not chosen, hands the shoes to her friend to bring with her.  When Lina tries to give them back, Feroza decides they both must keep one.  The friends sadly said goodbye but are hopeful to share the sandals again soon.

Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice
Element 3 allows for the transition from celebrating diversity to learning about how forms of oppression affect different groups of people. This particular book illustrates the topic of refugees and the difficult lifestyle they endure. Furthermore, the story comes from a child’s perspective on the issue. The girls discuss how they fled from their home, have limited clothing and resources, must work everyday, and cannot go to school. In the end, only one of the girls was able to move to America. Instead of silencing or making light upon the issue of refugees, the authors allow students to see the struggles they face everyday. While this issue of social injustice that may not be widely known among children, this book does a great job of exploring to a problem that affects so many people.

Classroom Use
For any age group, this story brings awareness about a topic children may not be familiar with. By utilizing “Four Feet, Two Sandals,” the teacher has the opportunity to expose students to the struggles that refugees face. A way to make this a hands on, useful activity is students can research how to bring awareness to others about this issue. Students can research the various countries that hold refugees and the background behind these families. They could write persuasive essays to distribute around the school and their local community advocating for help. Many different forms of writing could be incorporated in lessons pertaining to this story.

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