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, October 15, 2018


Author: Yuyi Morales
Grade level: Pre-k-2

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 Dreamers is the story of a mother and child who left where they lived and traveled to a new place only bringing a backpack with them.  The mother and son pair traveled for a long time arriving in awe of their new home as immigrants.  As migrants to this new land the mother and son are welcomed by word that they are not used to.  They did not understand the new land and were afraid to speak.  A lot of mistakes were made.  As they wandered through the new land they came upon a place that was inviting and surprising.  The duo became very comfortable in this new place because they didn't need to speak.  They found a library!  Here books became their new language, new home, and new lives.  The mother and son learned to read, write, and speak together.  They found a way to make their voices heard in this new land.  A way to become something they haven't even dreamed of yet.

Element 2:
Dreamers allows students to connect with a person who is migrating to a new place.  Walking with the mother and child we see the struggles of learning a new way of life through the authors words and beautiful illustrations.  The library becomes a haven for the pair as they are learning to read and write in the language of the new land.  Students can empathize with learning how to read and write as they are on a similar journey.

Dreamers is a story that can be used to introduce the topic of immigration.  Students will be able to see that when people move to a new place it is very difficult to understand things.  Some of these things include language and customs.  Discuss with students ways that they could help a family that is new to their town after reading Dreamers.  To bring the story to student's family's send home an assignment to have students draw and describe one thing that makes their family unique.  Then have students share their picture and story to see that many people are different even with in our own class community and how important it is to learn and share with each other.

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