We all know that the more emotional connections we can create between our content and our students, the better the students retain and understand the content. Literature in all of its forms can help us do that.

This week’s tip is basically just a list of places online that can help you integrate literature with your social studies instruction. I’ve tried to include stuff for different grade levels.

Notable Trade Books for Young People
One if the best places to start if you’re looking for books aligned to social studies standards. The National Council for the Social Studies puts together a list of the best trade books every year.

“Picture books are made to look at” – so this site has made it possible to view entire books, from front to back, by actually turning the pages. You can “collect” books on your bookshelf, see what others are “reading” and rate books. A great place for K-4 teachers!
Turning the Pages
The British Library has posted great books and manuscripts online in such a way that you “virtually” turn the pages. You can zoom in and out. The closest thing to actually holding the book!
Storyline OnlineStoryLine Online
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation brings you this site, an online streaming program featuring famous actors reading children’s’ books aloud. Each book has activities and lesson ideas.
Tools for Reading, Writing and Thinking
This site provides some nice resources that help kids organize content and their own thinking. They can be used to help students engage in rigorous thinking, organize complex ideas, and scaffold their interactions with texts.
American Passages: A Literary Survey
This site created by Annenberg Media provides professional development and classroom materials to enhance the study of American Literature in its cultural context.
If it has anything to do with books and resources, you’ll find it here.
Children’s Literature with Social Studies Themes
Basically a K-6 list of good trade books listed by grade level and theme.
Economics and Geography Lessons for 32 Children’s Books
Just what it sounds like . . . some nice trade book lesson plans aligned to econ and geography standards.
Over 1300 public domain books in audio format.
A nice social network for book lovers.

Have fun!