If anyone asked me what are my top 5 teaching tools, you can bet PICTURE BOOKS would be at the top of the list. Picture books are not only for primary kids, but great treasures for the upper elementary student to discover. 9 times out 10 I will start my lesson with a picture book to get my students to tap into their prior knowledge or provide stepping stones to heavy concepts.
To introduce state projects, I first read Scrambled State of America. It is an engaging and hilarious read that will hook the students and start providing them with tid-bits about the 50 states. Need more ideas for picture books that chat about the states click here? I let my students choose the state they research, and I am always surprised at their choices. Some base it on hearing a fun fact; others have visited their state; some just blind pick; and some just like the name of the state.
My favorite time period to teach in Social Studies is the American Revolution. I love teaching my students how we became this amazing country. There is A LOT A LOT of important information about this time period. The students are responsible for so much information that I always have a few picture books or chidren's chapter books around for this rich topic. Two of my favorites are George vs. George and King George What was His Problem? Want some more ideas? I love using George vs. George for a point of view lesson as well. When students work on their American Revolution packet, they must cite which picture book they found their information.
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