The Fair Housing Five and the Haunted House
By the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, illustrated by Sharika Mahdi
(Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, 2010)
31 pp. $27.95
The “Fair Housing Five” is a group of kids who gradually realize that a landlord in their neighborhood treats prospective renters unfairly. This picture book aimed at the early elementary grades is a thought-provoking introduction to different types of housing discrimination. It includes a glossary and discussion questions.
Screen-Free Week: 2011 Organizer’s Kit
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
69 pp. $17.95
According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, preschoolers spend an average of 32 hours a week watching one kind of screen or another. That’s practically a full-time job—a harmful one. And it’s even worse for older kids. As Susan Linn, director of CCFC, points out in this valuable guide, this screen obsession deprives children “of hands-on creative play—the foundation of learning, creativity, constructive problem-solving, and the capacity to wrestle with life to make it meaningful.” And it gives children an early induction into a consumer culture that with each passing day is becoming more and more ecologically ruinous. The Organizer’s Kit offers step-by-step guidance for organizing screen-free weeks. It includes rationales, research and fact sheets, children’s testimonials, alternatives to spending time in front of screens, frequently asked questions and ways to respond to skeptics, organizing tips, sample outreach materials, curriculum ideas and student handouts for teachers, and ways to extend screen-free week into daily life. This is a wonderful resource—for organizing a screen-free week or as a year-round educational guide.
Following the Threads: Bringing Inquiry Research into the Classroom
By Doug Selwyn
(Peter Lang, 2010)
232 pp. $33.95
In Following the Threads, former K-12 teacher and current teacher educator Doug Selwyn explores how researchers use inquiry to guide their work. Selwyn interviews artists like Roger Shimomura, historians like Howard Zinn, classroom teachers, and others to illustrate the power of inquiry to connect learners with the world around them. Although at first glance Following the Threads may look like a research methods book, in reality this well-written and accessible volume is about inquiry as effective pedagogy.