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

The Kid's Guide to Social Action


Title: The Kid’s Guide to Social Action


Author: Barbara A. Lewis

Element 6: Taking Social Action

            The Kid’s Guide to Social Action is a step by step guide for children on how they can change the world around them. Part 1 guides the reader to identify a problem and then further their understanding of it by doing the appropriate research. Part 2 teaches the reader different skills they can use for their social action project. Some of the skills include how to write a letter and tips on how to write a successful speech. Part 3 teaches children how they can bring about change in their local, state, and national levels of government. It takes the reader through ways they can initiate or change a law and teaches them how to get lawmakers to support their new bill. Part 4 is a list of a variety of resources including phone numbers for every state legislator, phone numbers and addresses of U.S government offices, and other social action organizations. Part 5 has tools and reprintable forms that teachers can photocopy and use. Throughout the book, there are real stories of children who are trying to bring about change in their communities.
            This book represents Element 6: Taking Social Action because it provides concrete steps the reader can take to bring about social change. It has students identify a problem that they notice and then provides various resources and information on how to take their ideas and make them a reality. It allows the reader to become proactive members in their communities.
Incorporating social action and allowing students to be proactive in bringing awareness and change to different issues related to social justice is important. When beginning a social action project, I would use the steps provided in part 1 to help guide the students in identifying a problem and situation that they want to change. The book can also be used when teaching about the parts and powers of the government. It can also be used in various subjects and different projects. I believe the book is a great resource that teachers can use throughout the year.

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