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.

Thursday, November 29, 2018



Author: Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Grade Level: 3rd grade - 5th grade

The book begins with with Rosa Parks, a well loved seamstress, leaving work and getting on the bus.  When she gets on the bus, there are no more seats in the "colored" section and she sits in the white section.  When she refuses to move, she is arrested.  Word travels to Dr. Jo Ann Robinson, a professor at the University of Alabama and the President of the Women's Political Council.  Dr. Robinson gathers twenty- five women in her office to start organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  The book goes on to show how these events lead to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the November 13, 1956 Supreme Court case Browder v. Gayle Ends Bus Segregation that ruled segregation in public places to be illegal.
Element 4:
Rosa is a great example of Social Movements and Social Changes because it shows how a social movement can start. Rosa Parks' story and the Montgomery bus boycott shows how a everyday person's choices and bravery can start a movement.  The book also shows light to the strong women of the Civil Rights movement who usually get over shadowed by other male civil rights leaders. Rosa does a great job of scratching the surface of the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement and Montgomery Bus Boycotts and introducing the players students may know, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., and introducing people like Dr. Jo Ann Robinson into these events.

Rosa does a great job of showing how everyday people, seamstresses, mothers and teachers, can start a movement.  This opens up a great journal prompt of what can you do as an everyday person that can be extraordinary.  To start the lesson brainstorm ideas with your students about what they could do that could help there community.  Remind students these do not have to be as big as helping start the Civil Rights movement, but rather small changes we would like to see in our community.  Use examples like cleaning the playground, snack choices in the cafeteria, and other ways they can become more active in helping the community and create change.  Than let the students go back and write about what they may like to do to help their community.

Buy it here!

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