Resources for Social Justice Education

Suzanne  -  Dec 21, 2016  -  , , , , , ,  - 

activistart_coverScholastic Canada has just released a new series of classroom resources for grades 4–6. These inquiry-based, magazine-style books focus on ethical citizenship, social justice, and sustainability in Canadian society. Each book in the series is bundled with a teacher’s guide and an accompanying website featuring videos and other resources.

The Take Action series is based on inquiry and project-based learning, and encourages students to solve global issues by getting involved in projects they can undertake in their own local communities. The books cover a range of topics, including water protection, access to education, consumerism, the influence of mass media, ecology and sustainability, food security, mental health, and the connection between art and activism. By engaging students in rich discussions about the issues taking place around them, these books build stronger communities and encourage students to become involved in civil society.

Suzanne Methot has provided Indigenous-focused content for several of the books in the series:

  • For Community Cares, which focuses on creating strong communities, we spoke with Madeleine Redfern (the mayor of Iqaluit, Nunavut), Indigenous youth involved in the secondary school program at the Native Learning Centre in Toronto, and with a member of the Native Canadian Centre’s Youth Council to gain insight on the Indigenous concept of relationship.
  • Activist Art contains a Q&A-style interview with DJ and video artist Bear Witness of A Tribe Called Red, exploring how the band uses media and message to create social change for Indigenous peoples.
  • Are You Hungry? explores food insecurity in Inuit communities in Canada’s north, and also contains a profile of Inuk hunter Joe Kayakyuak Agnujut Karetak, who runs the Young Hunters program at the Arviat Wellness Centre.
  • For Earth Action, we spoke with Nuu-chah-nulth elder and knowledge keeper Umeek Richard Atleo to get his perspective on the Nuu-chah-nulth concept of “tsawalk” (everything is one) and with Kwakwaka’wakw educator Sheryl Thompson to get her perspectives on sustainability and how we can make better choices for the earth.

In the Take Action series, Indigenous content is not siloed in one book, or one section of a book. As part of Scholastic’s commitment to reconciliation, Indigenous histories, experiences, and perspectives are included in every book, throughout the book, alongside other diverse perspectives. Welcome to 2017 and the new normal, where we go beyond token efforts at “inclusion” to arrive at infusion and integration.

These books should be on the Christmas list of everyone who knows and loves a teacher. For more information and to order, go to Scholastic’s website.

Happy Winter Solstice!

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