I get to spend the next two days hanging out with other history nerds at the National Council for History Education national conference in Kansas City. The theme this year is
Reading the Past: Literature and Literacy in History
I’ve always been a big believer in the power of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and really just about any sort of text to teach history and social studies. Textbooks are useful in their own way but we do our kids a disservice when we limit their contact with other forms of text.
One of the best is the National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books site. Every year, the NCSS selects a few hundred tradebooks, aligns them to their 10 social studies themes, provides a handy annotation, and shoots them out to use. You can download PDF versions of their selections from the last ten years. The books are almost all grades K-8.
The University of Delaware does something similar with their Children’s Literature with Social Studies Themes page. They have divided their books into four categories: History, Civics, Geography, and Economics. You’ll find hundreds of books broken down by grade level, K-6.