Welcome! If you have joined us each week, thank you! If not, you can start by clicking here. We have been hopping through our bookshelves to share our favorites in children and young adult literature. My hope is you will walk into this year with a STASH of great new books! This week is near and dear to my heart. I hated history growing up, but as a teacher I see such a need to continue to teach it and make it exciting. At my new school (three years ago) I was given the task to teach the regions of the U.S. along with seasonal social studies/history topics but there was no curriculum. That is actually what got me started on Teachers Pay Teachers! I couldn't find what I needed so I made my own. I found others were dying for the same information! Many schools have gone to a newspaper-like social studies form of curriculum. There isn't much time to teach it nor substance to the material. So what better way to fill the gap than to share this info during a read aloud!
Here are just a few of my favorite go to Social Studies books for Kindergarten. These are a little more on the basic level. It can be a challenge to find a children's book that teaches social studies and historical topics on a primary level. Often I open the book to find a full page of text. Not the kind of thing a kindergartener will sit through.
God Bless America illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
I love to teach my students songs like this. Each page has a different phrase from this familiar song. A family of adorable bears travel around the "Land that I love" as you sing along. Kids love songs, especially when most of them haven't heard it! Have them go home and teach it to their parents. We even made a class book. I put them in pairs and they each illustrated apart of the song. You will hear them singing it all day long. And parents will be impressed that we are still teaching these classics. It gets my American pride up and kickin'!
Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny
I just love this! Me on the Map takes a complex concept of where we live and what a map is and puts it on a primary level. I live in Florida and it cracks me up when students look at me and say "my cousin lives in Florida!" ...and so do you... ha ha! By the end of the year my students are able to recognize the names of various states around the country. We can't get to that point without starting with the basics. I've created a map unit that follows Me on the Map. Joan Sweeny has also written other books along this line. I stumbled upon this amazing fact over the summer when I somehow acquired Me and the Measure of Things! If you'd like to simplify maps for students, check this out:
I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin Jr.
I think this book is what got me started in the thought that little guys can be taught social studies concepts like this at an early age. Sure anyone can memorize the pledge, but what on the earth does it mean? This book goes line by line with adorable pictures and explains what each part of the pledge really means. Some words are complex for even older children to understand and this book brings it down to a kindergarten/1st grade level. One of my favorites and it is getting worn out! My kids no longer say "and to the rePUBLIX for which it stands"...
Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful by Scholastic
These are just a couple of titles in this series by Scholastic. There are many more books created in this same format that cover our nation's history. Again, each page shows a different line of the song or poem accompanied by beautifully captured photos. Students will be captivated by pictures from all over our beautiful country while learning more incredible songs from our country's history.
National Symbols Series by Lerner Publications Company
There are many books in this series as well such as the ones I have pictured: Mt. Rushmore, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, Our Flag and the Lincoln Memorial. Again, these are written on a level that a young primary student can understand. Honestly, since these topics aren't often discussed at home or on T.V., it is often the first exposure they have to all these topics and they eat it up! I plan to do a Patriotic unit for February to go along with President's Day this year and use these books.
I had a blast sharing my favorite social studies/history books with you this week! It's become a great passion of mine. Go grab them all and share them with your little patriots!
Don't forget to grab your booklist from our Favorite Friends last week!
*If you're interested in other social studies themed ideas, visit my store by clicking my logo below. Thanks for stopping by!
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