I recently facilitated a conversation with elementary teachers that focused on using the C4 Framework in the K-5 social studies classroom. It was a great day – we talked about historical thinking and the use of evidence and integration of social studies with ELA and online resources and all sorts of cool stuff.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was the time we spent talking about and practicing the use of social studies trade books in the elementary classroom. One of the resources we used was a great book called Every Book is a Social Studies Book: How to Meet Standards with Picture Books, K-6.
First thing, it’s not just for K-6. There is stuff in there for middle school and even some high school folks. Second thing, it’s a book you need to track down. The authors, Jeannette Balantic, Andrea S. Libresco, Jonie C. Kipling, have put together an amazing collection of discipline-specific strategies along with extensive collections of trade and picture books all aligned to 10 national NCSS social studies themes.
For example, the chapter on Production, Distribution, Consumption, they focus on the great book, Uncle Jed’s Barbershop and ask kids to complete a opportunity costs worksheet for a class fundraiser.
For the Global Connections section, the authors share specific ideas about using the book, If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People. One example asks kids to create pie charts using the data from the book that lead to discussion and the creation of Public Service Announcements or infographics highlighting a specific human rights organization such as Heifer International.
With the ready-to-use graphic organizers and handouts to the list of suggested titles to the Unit Planning Template, Every Book is Social Studies Book is a no-brainer.