Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Social Justice Issues in Literature

Today our class looked back at four books we shared together this year: The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, Creativity by E.B. Lewis, Mr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco, and The Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater.  As we reflected on these books, we asked ourselves if there were ever moments in the stories when something did not seem right or fair.  This began our discussion of how we can look at a book differently by noticing the social justice issues the author incorporated into the story.  We can use these issues to fuel our discussions of the characters, their decisions, and relate it back to our own world.  We brainstormed a list of social justice issues we have seen in literature and in our community.  I wanted to share this list with you.  Focusing your conversations at home about these issues your child sees in his/her book can be a great extension of what we are doing here at school.  It also can encourage your child to become more aware of the world around him/her.  

Social Justice Issues List Brainstormed by 5M:

 An issue is present when something doesn’t seem RIGHT or FAIR.

Judgment of looks              Not accepting differences

Not being allowed to be yourself              Family

Bullying                            Cyber-bullying 

Power                            Control

Money (poverty)                     Not allowing change

War & Violence                     Revenge

Lying                                   Jealousy

Death                            Fear/Protecting/Surviving

Blackmail                            Gender

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