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Why are People Marching? Discussing Justice-Oriented Citizenship Using Picture Books

“Why are people marching?” Given today’s level of activism, this is a plausible question many students may have. Although only some students voice the questions, it is very likely that many more have pondered why people are protesting after seeing reports of events such as the Women’s March (equality for women), March for Our Lives (about gun control), Black Lives Matter (for racial justice), Janitors March (for fair pay), and Keep Families Together (demanding the Trump administration reunite immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border). As elementary teachers, our subsequent question becomes, “How can I respond?” This article outlines how integrating children’s literature, which presents accurate content regarding political activism, can lay the groundwork for discussing and answering students’ curiosity regarding why people are marching.
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