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, April 25, 2016

Can We Help?

Title: Can We Help?
Author: George Ancona
Grade level: K-3

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This book provides children with some examples of ways that they can help others in their community. The author, George Ancona, includes photographs on every page of the book. These images show children and adults doing volunteer work such as knitting hats and scarves for homeless families, planting and harvesting produce for people who don’t have enough to eat, distributing foods to needy families, and picking up trash to clean the environment. The author also explains how students can help their peers through tutoring and mentoring. The activities featured in this book can be accomplished by children of various ages.
Element 6: Taking Social Action
The photographs within this book show that young children can do things that will significantly impact their communities. Although children may believe that they are too young to make a difference, the photos prove otherwise. Through these images of community members coming together to help others, students can begin to understand that they have the ability to take social action and make changes.
Classroom Activity:
I would use this book as an introduction for students to see that they can help others within their community. In order for students to understand the importance of taking social action and bringing about change in their community, they can write about ways that they would like to see others helping and volunteering. I believe that by sharing their ideas with one another, they will realize how they can affect people's lives in positive ways.

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