Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What I Like About Me!

Title: What I Like About Me!

Author: Allia Zobel-Nolan

Summary: This book is about children who each tell the reader something they like about themselves-they wear braces, they have curly hair, to even having big feet. The illustrations are great and there are all sorts of pop-outs, pull tabs, and touchy items in the pictures, that make the book so much fun to read.

Reflection: I love this book because it teaches students that everyone is different and special in our very own way. In addition, it helps with issues of self-esteem which is a very important topic and needs to be talked about.

Lessons/Curriculum: There is so much that can be done with this book. The last line of the book poses a question to the reader, “and what do you like about you?” with an actual aluminum mirror so you can look at yourself. Teachers can use this question to start teaching about self-esteem and have students do self-portraits, including writing about themselves and what makes them so special. In addition, another creative idea might be to instead of having students write about themselves, they write about someone else in their class and why they feel that person is special. This way self-esteem is not only taught about, but social skills (ex. classroom community) as well.

Social Justice Curriculum: Stages 1 and 2 are strongly addressed because students are learning to love and respect themselves while at the same time for others too.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The People Could Fly

Title: The People Could Fly
Author: Virginia Hamilton
Illustrators: Leo and Diane Dillon

Summary: .
"The People Could Fly," is a fantasy tale that tells of how some enslaved Africans had wings and could fly. In order for them to escape the abuses of slavery, they began to sing some ancient African magic words. This allowed their bodies to lift into the sky and fly away to freedom.
This would be a great book to use for Social Studies. Lessons could be taught on how the Africans were taken from their homeland and put on slave ships and brought to new lands as slaves. I also think that this book could be used for a performance in Drama. I would have students create costumes with wings, and have them re-enact the story. .
Social Justice Education:
This book covers all 5 areas of social justice. Students can learn to love and accept themselves and their roots, while others can respect their differences. Students will learn the forms of oppression of slavery and racism, and how they can use books like this to create non-violent social change. Additionally, students can take social action to protect people's rights.

Monday, March 26, 2007

When Marian Sang, The True Recital of Marian Anderson
By: Pam Muñoz Ryan, Brian Selznick

This book tells the story of Marian Anderson, a very talented singer. The story begins when she is a gifted child, travels with her as she is faced with racism and concludes as she makes history by being the first black person ever to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.

How I would use this:
I would use this book in TWO ways. THE FIRST is to have a discussion about racism and prejudice. Marian is not allowed to enter music school because of the color of her skin. Is that fair? Also, she is only recognized as being ‘worthy’ later because of her beautiful singing voice. Shouldn’t every one be equal, not only if they have special talents, but just because they are human beings? THE SECOND is to discuss ways in which people fight what they believe to be unfair. In the book it seems as if Marian quietly waits until the world accepts her. Other people, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, campaign for her. What are they ways in which people fight for social justice, and what are the pros and cons of each method?


Social Justice Education:
This book deals with all steps of social justice education and can lend itself to the fifth stage. Students can select a social justice issue that they would like to combat and also select a method that they have studied that they would like to use to fight it.

*Posted for: Valerie Bracco*


Title: Weslandia
By: Paul Fleischman

This is a very funny story about a very creative boy who just doesn't quite fit in at school or at home. Wesley, the main character, is an outcast from the civilization around him so he decides to devote his summer to a wonderful project- creating a new civilization. He starts his project by planting his own staple food crop. Soon his seeds turn into a magical world. Wesley moves into this beautiful new civilization and survives on the fruits and veggies produced by the seeds that he planted. Using all natural products from his garden Wesley is able to weave himself new clothes, ones that are much cooler and more comfortable then the jeans and t-shirts everyone else is wearing. Soon all the children that used to make fun of him are curious about Wesley's "summer project" and want to see what his civilization is all about. Wesley realizes that his civilization would benefit from the help of others and he invites his schoolmates in. The other students also gain an appreciation for Wesley and admire and praise him for his talent and creativeness.

Lesson Ideas:
There are many topics that could be taught as a follow up to this read aloud. This could be the start of a fiction writing unit where students can create there own "civilizations". The unit could be _____landia and the students names would go on the line. They could use this book to help them get idea's about a creating a land where they can chose what clothes they wear, what language they speak, what food they eat, etc. This book could also be used in a unit about planting. For younger grades studying the life cycle of plants they could talk about the stages that the plants in the book went through and all the different purposes that the plants served. This book could also be used on a unit about the importance of being yourself, and how it's okay to be different. Students learn from Wesley that it's okay to embrace your differences and not follow what everyone else is doing. This book can also be used for a lesson where you want students to notice change in a character over time. In the beginning of the book Wesley is sad, and depressed because he has no friends and doesn't fit in, and by the end of the book Wesley comes out of his shell and has a much improved morale.


Social Justice:
1. Self love and acceptance
2. Respect for others
Touches on #3. Issues of Social Justice- bullying

Friday, March 23, 2007

I Love Saturdays y Domingos

I Love Saturdays y domingos, by Alma Flor Ada, is about a young girl who spends the weekends with her grandparents. Saturdays are spent with her English-speaking paternal grandparents, and Sundays are spent with her Spanish-speaking maternal grandparents. She explains how she celebrates both English and Spanish culture by engaging in various activities with each set of grandparents. The girl uses Spanish words when talking about what she does with her Spanish-speaking grandparents, but the words are easily identified in context.

This book can be used to teach several lessons. It can be used to teach students basic Spanish words or to teach them about Spanish culture. Teachers can also use the book to show students how it is possible to celebrate different cultures and traditions. Students can then explain the different ways in which they celebrate different cultures.

The book addresses social justice levels 1 and 2. It teaches students to appreciate their own cultures, as well as diversity and the cultures of others.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poetry for Young People, Langston Hughes

I was originally going to post for "The Little Prince" but I couldn't once I found this book in the school library. This is a collection of poems that addresses every level of the social justice curriculum. Self love and acceptance is addressed in "My People", acceptance of others is addressed in "Harlem", social movements is addressed in "Words Like Freedom" and "I Dream A World". There are poems of African history, about slave drums and jazz beats, about Jim Crow laws and segregation. Students who read these poems, will be exposed to language that is beautiful and descriptive as well as being exposed to African American History. Their are so many wonderful experiences students can have as a result to reading this poetry. They can create their own poetry and illustrations to create a class book of their own, students may also be inspiried to learn more about the actual history to go a long with the history that is described in the poems. As New York City school teachers, we may feel pressure to teach the "Teachers College" version of literacy, this will be a great resourse to teach poetry and all the levels of social justice at the same time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Angel Child, Dragon Child

Angel Child, Dragon Child
By: Michele Maria Surat

This story is about a Vietnamese child, Nguyen Hoa, who was trying to adjust to life in the USA. Nguyen was also called “Ut”. When Ut first started school she was ridiculed by the other kids because she was different than them. She wore traditional clothing, which the students thought looked like pajamas and she did not speak much English. Ut carried a box around with her which had a picture of her mother. Ut missed her mother very much but her family did not have money to bring her to the U.S when they came so she was still in Vietnam. Ut made a friend at school and he helped her raise money by holding a school Vietnamese fair. Her mother was able to migrate to the U.S.

I would definitely recommend this book because I feel many people could relate to it. So many families migrate to the U.S in hopes of a better life for themselves and their children and adjusting to this new lifestyle can be so difficult. Their children can experience a rough time getting through school because of factors like a language barrier. This book does a great job of showing that it is not okay to judge someone by their appearance. People should accept or embrace one another’s culture and learn from one another. It’s a great read aloud and a great book to use in a social studies unit about the Vietnam War. You can integrate Social Studies, Geography, and Writing. Furthermore, this book touches on all five domains of social justice: self love and acceptance, respect for others, taking action, social issues, etc.

A New Barker in the House

Author: Tomie DePaola

Summary: This is the story of an English speaking family that adopts a Spanish speaking child. At first, the English children have a difficult time understanding their new brother and try to force their ways upon him. Eventually, the English family members begin to learn Spanish and the baby learns English.

Social Justice Education: This book deals with self-love and acceptance, and respect and tolerance for others.

Lessons and activities: I chose this book because it could encourage children to embrace languages in addition to English. Whether this meant that children would retain and be proud of their native language or encourage them to learn a different language it would be meaningful. I think this book could be a good introduction of the benefits of learning and speaking another language. The book is best suited for younger grades.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Multicultural Fables and Fairy Tales: Stories and Activities to Promote Literacy and Cultural Awareness

Title: “Multicultural Fables and Fairy Tales: Stories and Activities to Promote Literacy and Cultural Awareness”
Author: Tara McCarthy

Summary: This book includes many fables and tales from around the world/different cultures. The book is separated by four categories of tales:
Section 1 – Trickster Tales
Section 2 - Fables
Section 3 – “Why” Stories and Legends
Section 4 - Fairy Tales
Some stories that are included are “Tortoise Ticks Leopard” (Liberian), How the Beetle Got Her Colors” (Brazilian), “The Fox and the Drum” (Indian), and “The Tongue-Cut Sparrow” (Japanese). There are some lesson plan ideas that accompany each lesson as well as some suggested activities. For example, the objective of the “Coyote Places the Stars” tale is to predict what will happen in a trickster tale. The children will practice making predictions in the story using evidence.

I think this is a very good book to use in the classroom. It contains many different stories from around the world, which will expose students to other cultures and beliefs. Additionally, the book offers suggestions on how each story can be used according to different objectives (identifying values in trickster tales, relating fables to real life, etc.).

This book can be used when doing a unit study on fables/legends. Children can write and act out their own fable/fairytale after reading through a few of the tales in the book and examining the traits of fables/fairytales (setting, types of characters, values, etc.).

Levels of Social Justice Education:


Boys and Girls of the World: From One End….. To the Other By Nuria Roca

“Boys and Girls of the World: From One End….. To the Other”, explores the lives of children all over the world. Readers will learn about different cultures, languages, holidays, schooling, climate, and environmental situations in places such as, China, North Alaska, Japan, Yugoslavia, Africa, Australia, and Egypt. Readers will meet a little boy named Pall from North Alaska who receives home schooling during the coldest months with the assistance of a computer and books on the internet, and another little boy named Draco from Yugoslavia, who was injured during a recent war. In addition, this book includes activities and guidelines for parents and teachers. This book will encourage students to learn about other children’s cultures all over the world and appreciate their diversity.

This book could be used to expand student’s knowledge and appreciation about diversity, and motivate them to become familiar with their peers culture, language, religion, and environment. Students will develop self-love and acceptance, respect and tolerance for oneself and others, and exploring issues of social justice in the classroom.

This book is a wonderful resource to use when teaching a lesson appreciating diversity and motivating students to acknowledge the differences and similarities between their peers. I would begin my lesson reading this book then have the students turn and talk sharing their ideas on what they noticed was different and the same between the children in the story. This will be followed by a class discussion. After the class discussion, I would pose an open-ended question such as, how do you celebrate your birthday? Independently, the students will write their response and draw a detailed depiction showing the traditional foods, games, and dances. When the students are finished they will post their writing near their drawing on the wall. The students will have 5-10 min. to walk around and observe their peers traditional way of celebrating their birthday. During the class discussion, I will motivate the students to share their ideas, opinions, and questions about their differences and similarities with their peers in a positive manner.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chi- Hoon

Chi- Hoon by Patricia McMahon is the photo/ diary compilation of a young girl growing up in Seoul, South Korea. This beautifully glossy portfolio follows Chi- Hoon through a week of her life, giving the reader rich insight into cultural customs and traditions. Since my students were very excited that I was going to Korea, I promised to bring back something that we could learn about as a class. This book is the perfect instructional jump- off point: The reader can select virtually anything from the book and delve into a cultural study of it.

Josephine's 'magination by Arnold Dobrin

Couldn't find a picture for this one, and it was first published in 1973 so this may be due to an elderly book. not sure. Regardless, this is a great book for teaching multi cultural education. I chose this book for a couple reasons. One thing i really liked about this book is that it doesn't hit you over the head with the multi cultural content. What i mean by this is there is no racism or injustice really in the book. Instead the author chooses to tell a story of a young Haitian girl who accompanies her mother to the market one day to sell brooms, where she meets an older man who explains to her that she can make new things out of old stuff using her imagination. The illustrations are vivid, alternating between color and black and white, and the book would be appropriate for K-3rd grade, however it is not a short book, with about half text/half pictures for every 2 page spread.

The multi-cultural content comes from the book taking place in a poor neighborhood on Haiti, a country i assume most young urban students are not familiar with. Students learn about different cultures and people and there is also a bit of self love and acceptance in regards to the character of Josephine. (she learns she can have fun and make toys even though she has no money to buy anything, accepting her situation and making the best of it) I would use this book as an opportunity to introduce Haiti and Haitians to students. Where is Haiti? What continent is it located on? What is the weather like there? Can we determine any of this from the illustrations or how the people dress? What language do they speak in Haiti? (French) Why do they speak French? (Haiti was a French colony as well as many other North African states)What's a colony? etc. you get the idea. Any number of engaging and enlightening questions could be asked. For more advanced or older students you could have them do their own research and investigations into the Haitian people, culture, and history. One must keep in mind however to prepare students with adequate research skills and strategies before assigning such an activity.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Somewhere Today... A Book of Peace

Somewhere Today..A Book of Peace by Shelley Moore Thomas
At first I felt as though this book did not really have much to do with peace at all because it only presented alot of positve scenarios, but after observing the literary specialist in my school do a read aloud with this book I realized that there is alot of potential to discuss what peace is and contrast the postive imags with other negative aspects as well. This book goes through different activities that children are doing throughout the world that help make the world a better place. I love that the book has actual photographs rather than illustrations as well. More than that this book presents taking social action in a way that children can relate to and dispels the idea that social action has to be some grandiose display, that way children can see it is possible to be a social activists no matter how old and how little a taks may seem.

Social Justice
Social Movements and Social Change
5. Taking Social Action

Lesson Plan Ideas.
I think this book would be a great book for a writing unit where children are making their own books, as well as a poetry unit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"I Love My Hair" by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Title: "I Love My Hair"

Author: Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Summary: "I Love My Hair" deals with a young African American girl who describes her hair in many unique ways and the different ways she can wear it as well. This book is definitely empowering and brings an excellent message about appreciating who we are and where we come from. In addition, it encourages kids to feel proud of their heritage and appreciate each individuals uniqueness.

Reflections: I strongly recommend this book for any grade level. Its illustrations and colors make images vivid and immerses readers into a realistic flight of heritage celebration. Overall, it is a beautiful story about self-love and acceptance.

Social Justice Education: This book could be used in lessons that deal with self-love and acceptance, respect and tolerance for oneself and others, and exploring issues of social justice in the classroom. Also, it is great to read to students when introducing appreciation of diversity in the classroom.

Lessons and activities: This book is an excellent resource to use when teaching a lesson on the Appreciation of Diversity. First, I would read this book to my students and after ask them to draw self-portraits. When finished, I would allow students to comment about their differences in a positive way while they travel around the room viewing their drawings.

You may also want to visit this interesting link: A unit on "Celebrate your Heritage"

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

This book is a "heart-warmer" about a little girl named Molly Lou who is smaller than all the other children her age. Her character is developed after she moves to a different town. She always remembers what her grandmother told her and is able to battle the bullies.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon would be useful in the younger grades as it has very simple language and bold pictures. This would be good for character development lessons and the theme of being proud of who you are. It also is a good example of how we need to to accept people who are different than us. Some possible lesson ideas would be to have children compare the situations from the book to things that have happened to them. Another idea would be to use this as one book in a character study unit. Students could record aspects of Molly Lou and what makes her who she is.

This book does not reach all of the levels of social justice education. It clearly touches on self-love and acceptance as she is constantly reminded that she can do what everyone else can do. It is also able to be incorporated into the "respect for others" category because the bully Ronald learns to accept Molly Lou for who she is.

Some useful links:


Written and Illustrated by Peter Spier

People is an excellent book to use in the classroom to expose students to the differences in people from around the world. Spier's book sends the message that everyone has the right to be different and that people should be proud of their differences. Spier examines an array of characteristics that make human beings unique. His words and illustrations show the differences in physical traits (body size, skin color, eye color, hair style), clothing styles, interests, dwellings, holidays, foods, religions, and languages of individuals from many cultures. At the end of the book, Spier asks the reader to imagine how dull the world would be if everybody looked, thought, ate, dressed, and acted the same. This book makes you think about how wonderful it is that each one of us is unlike any other.

Anne Marie and Bree pointed out one area to watch out for: towards the end of the book, Spier writes about the different kinds of leaders. We noticed that the illustrations for this page are all of white males. When using this book in the classroom, it might be beneficial to discuss this or to skip the page entirely.

I think this book touches on the first three levels of social justice. When reading this book, children and adults consider their own cultures. They also learn about cultures that are different than their own. Spier helps his readers realize the importance of differences in the world.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fire at the Triangle Factory by Holly Littlefield

Fire at the Triangle Factory by Holly Littlefield

Available for Purchase at: Amazon

Summary: This book is about two 14-year-old girls, Minnie a Jewish girl and Tessa an Italian Catholic girl, seamstress coworkers in a crowded work factory on the upper floors of a building in Greenwich Village (Now the Silver building on NYU’s campus) in 1911. One day a fire breaks out in the factory, resulting in the deaths of 146 workers. The book tells the story of the two girls struggle for survival. This historic event in history changed the labor laws and safety codes for the future generations.

My Opinion: I love this story because it tells a story of child labor, religious differences, and overlooked labor laws. It is a story of tragedy that results in social change. It also is very relevant for children in New York City because it tells of specific landmarks and communities that the children live in today.

Possible Topics: You could use this book for numerous lessons and unit studies! It covers topics of labor laws and how they were neglected and obscure before the fires. It covers child labor. It discusses the importance of safety and evacuation plans. It discusses the life of immigration work and New York City. It also talks about the religious differences and family opposition among the Catholics and Jewish communities of the early 20th century.

Lessons in literacy/ social studies:
· The students can role-play and write a letter from one of the girls’ perspective to the other girls’ perspective telling about why they think their parents dislike each other.
· Write diary entries from the girls’ perspective about the daily life in the factory or the day of the fire
· Write letters to the government officials to make labor laws stricter and enforced
Lessons in math/social studies:
· The students can research and calculate how much money the workers made at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
· The students can calculate the ratio of how many people died in the fire and how many people were working there.
Lessons in Science/social studies:
· The students can research how the fire began and what caused the fire.
· What made the fire spread so rapidly?
· Brainstorm solutions and preventions that could have been enforced to prevent the fire.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Angel Child, Dragon Child

Angel Child, Dragon Child
By Michele Maria Surat

Ut is a new girl that has just come from Vietnam. The students in her class make fun of her because of her language and identity. She struggles attending school in the United States. Her mother is left behind Vietnam, but her once enemy, but now friend at school, gives her a big, great surprise at the end of the story that she will never forget.

1) This book would be great to read on the first day of school. It will allow students to understand how other students might feel on the first day. Students can also learn that English is not the first language for all students. The teacher can maybe speak in another language and ask the students how they felt when they heard the language. This will allow the students to think about how others would feel.
2) I also think this would be a great book to introduce the Asian culture. Since many students might assume that all Asians are Chinese, this book can lead to an Asian culture study. Students can learn that Asians are Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, etc. I find that it is important to understand that concept.
3) This would also be a great book for students to understand what it means to help others. One of the characters in the book help Ut, the Vietnamese student, bring her mom to the States. This can help create a positive learning environment.

Social Justice Education:
I think this book mentions self-love and acceptance, respect for others, and taking social action. Students learn to love themselves and their culture, have respect for the cultures of others, and also learn the importance of helping others out.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Keeping Quilt

A little girl, Anna comes to America from Russia with her family. When her and her family's clothes don't fit anymore, they use scraps of it to make a beautiful quilt to remind them of backhome. The quilt served many purposes throughout the years, as a wedding huppa and wrapping the newborns of each generation. The quilt is passed on to each daughter.

This book is a great memoir piece that uses an item, the quilt as a unifier. It is also great for studying cultures, traditions, immigration and families. It explores the changes that most families go through after they immigrate to America.

1. Self Love and acceptance: the family is Jewish and passes on the traditions and cultures to each generation.
2. Respect for others: exploration of Jewish culture; throughout the generations, more people of other cultures are invited to the Jewish weddings.
3. Exploring issues of social justice: the symbolism of the quilt- all the things the family left behind to come to America and what identifies them.

Don't Laugh at Me!

This book, "Don't Laugh at Me", by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin, with illustrations by Glin Dibley, is really a book form of the song "Don't Laugh at Me!" by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame). It is an excellent resource for teaching an anti-bullying curriculum, as well as for the opposite of bullying, community building. It's hard to find in print (none of the book stores down here had it, but there was talk of the Barnes and Noble on 82nd...right...), but it IS still in print, and apparently comes with a recorded version of the song, which I think is really helpful for students who maybe can't read the words on their own.
My main concern with this book, however, is the fact that 'the chorus' says, "In G-d's eyes we're all the same", which is a really nice sentiment, but isn't great for community building if some students in your class don't believe in G-d or might get upset because they believe in another G-d or a different version OF G-d. I would try to find a more neutral way of expressing it - I was playing around with "in real life, we're all the same".

I believe this book hits the following levels of Social Justice Education:
1) Self-Love & Acceptance: it's okay to be different
2) Respect for Others: The basis of not bullying
3) Exploring issues of Social Justice: Why people get bullied, even though it's not okay OR their fault
4 & 5) dependin on how you use it: if you use it to discuss how a person's skin color has been a source of discrimination for hundreds of years, you could work this book in. If your students want to create a school-wide anti-bullying campaign, this would help.

Links: (a page with the actual song playing behind it!)

links reviewing the book:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

We Dream of a World

Title: We Dream of a World...
Authors: Scholastic; Classroom of students from University City, Missouri

This book is made by a classroom of students and dedicates a page to each social justice issue they wanted to focus on. Each page/topic includes facts and a few ideas of what we can do to help this issue. Some of the issues include hunger, homelessness, education, pollution and peace. This is a great way to not only introduce many topics of social justice to your class, but also to show them that kids can make a difference.

I would use this book to introduce and incorporate social justice themes into my classroom by reading a page/issue biweekly. This would give them a chance to brainstorm ideas of how they could help. They would then be encouraged to write letters, educate their peers, or incorporate other ideas and activities to take social action. This book could be incorporated into thematic units, or integrated into multiple areas such as literacy, math, or science and health. An example would be to look into a nutrition unit and encourage the school to sell healthier snacks in the lunchroom by writing letters to the school board.

This book covers three levels of social justice education. 3 because it shows issues of social injustice; 4 because it suggests ways for social change; and 5 because it encourages the opportunity to make a difference.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Dinner at Aunt Connie's House BY Faith Ringgold

This is a story about a young girl named Melody who goes to her aunt Connie’s house every summer for dinner and a special showing of her aunt’s artwork. Melody meets Aunt Connie’s adopted son Lonnie and they play hide and seek, in the house, before dinner. While playing hide and seek, they find Aunt Connie’s portraits of African American Women who have made great contributions to American History. The portraits talk to Melody and Lonnie; they tell both of them about their lives and how they contributed to American History. This book is great because it gives a brief description of these women and you can see how they look. This good contains a lot of valuable information that used in many different ways in the classroom.

This book can be utilized in the classroom by having students draw their own self portraits and write their own description of themselves. They can write about what contributions they made. This book could also be used as a starting point for research papers. Students could pick one woman they want to learn more about and they can research and make a presentation to the class. The students could even do a skit and act like the women they are researching. They could even act a dinner scene in which they students are portraying the women in this book. The students could also write something that they would want their portrait to say 50 years from now. How do they want to change the world? What do they want to be known for? The first woman to do… The first man to do… Being that the book was inspired by a quilt; the class can make a quilt out of their own portraits.

This book addresses all the stages of Social Justice Education.

A Friend Like Ed by Karen Wagner

Summary: Differences are celebrated and the value of real friends are learned. It is about two offbeat, lovable, unforgettable characters and their true and everlasting friendship.


1)Self-portraits & write about culture, interests, talents and what friendship means to you

2) Poetry Lesson

3) Write appreciation cards/letters

4) Civil Rights Movement

5) Racism, sexism, stereotypes

6) Community awareness- bringing differences together

7) Learning how to write detail


1) What does it mean to write from the heart?

2) What are you thankful for?

3) What makes you laugh so hard that you cry?

4) Are you a risk taker?

5) Embarrassing moments..

6) Strange hobbies

7) Talents

8) Times when you feel lonely...


Falls under all categories

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

This book tells the story of a little girl named Wanda Petronski. She’s not like her classmates, she has a funny name and wears the same faded-blue dress to school every day. Though she wears the same dress everyday Wanda claims to have one hundred dresses lined up in her closet at home. Her claim among other things makes her a target for the bullying by several other girls in her class Eventually, the bullies come to find out that Wanda did have one hundred dresses and also find out how their teasing game effected Wanda.
I think this book addresses many issues related to social justice such as immigration, poverty, and bullying. I think it does a good job of showing how bullying does not always have to be a physical assault and that words can really hurt. I also like how these issues of social justice are intertwined and that the book addresses the effects these issues have on children.
This website offers some lessons on how to use the book to engage students in a discussion about having courage and standing up for things they know are wrong
I think this book addresses these levels of social justice: Stage 2 because it teaches students that people that are different from them have talents and qualities that they can appreciate. Stage 3 because it explores the issues of poverty, immigration/racism, and bullying. I think that this book could definitely be used to motivate students to work for change especially through such lessons that put them in a characters role and challenge the students to act in a way that may be different from their normal manner.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My Painted House My Friendly Chicken and Me


Summary: The book is from the point of view of a 8 year old Ndebele girl from South Africa named Thandi, meaning hope. She describes her life in the village: her best friend who is a chicken, the houses that they paint in the village, and also the beads that her mother wears. She is asking the reader to embrace her life and become her friend. The photographs in the book are real photographs, making the reader feel so close to the village. The books is also interestingly designed because the layout of each page is very different. Not only do the layout of the pictures change but the fonts size and style also changes.

Activities: 1)Students can make a book about their culture and customs in the same form as this book. They can write it as if they were talking to Thandi or someone who has never experienced their lifestyle
2)Students can find similarities between their life and Thandi's life

3) Students can describe their best friends and what characteristics make a good friend

Social Justice Education:
This book addresses Respect for Others because it exposes kids to another culture and different It also addresses Self-Love and Acceptance because it teaches kids that being different is okay and one should be proud of it.