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, April 16, 2016

The Kid's Guide to Service Projects

Title: The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects
Author: Barbara A. Lewis
Grade Level: 3-6

Purchase here
Information on the author here
Teacher resource here

            This guide book is broken down into several sections, beginning with an introduction and then covering specific aspects of community service. The beginning covers the purpose of the book and a how-to on getting started in service. The rest of the book suggests ideas for service projects pertaining to different interests including animals, politics, community development, crime fighting, environment, friendship, health, homelessness, hunger, literacy, seniors, disabilities, safety, and transportation. These projects range from small tasks to large developments. The last section covers a list of short how-to’s such as how to create a flyer, how to create a petition, how to lobby, how to support or oppose a law and many more.

Element 6: Taking Social Action
            The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects is a great example of Element 6 of Social Justice Education, taking social action. This provides the teacher and the classroom with a valuable resource in helping to better the community around them. Teachers can guide interest and foster student empowerment. This book suggests idea for change but also encourages creativity and initiative. Students can either find a topic or build upon an interest in a project big or small.

Classroom Use

            This book can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways either as a class or on an individual level. A class could choose one or more suggestions in the book throughout the year and work together to complete the project in the community. Or, the class could create their own service project using the variety of how-to’s. Individual students or teams could also take their own initiative in tackling a project as an outside assignment.

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