Using Children's Literature as a Resource Within Middle Grades Social Studies Curriculum
Keywords:social studies curriculum, children's literature, middle grades
Many of us remember sitting in a social studies class simply reading from a textbook, answering comprehension questions, reciting mere facts and dates, and taking a weekly test. Most of us remember hating this course for those very same reasons. For many middle school students, social studies are "a fragmented, hit-or-miss portion of the curriculum often lacking in roots, continuity, personal relevance, and comprehension of the multiple causes and effects of historical events" (Perez-Stable & Cordier, 2000, p.23). As a social studies teacher, I felt that it was time that this disenchantment with history was put to an end. One method that worked favorably with my 7th grade history students was to incorporate children's literature into my social studies curriculum. Children's literature can be utilized at multiple levels in a wide variety of classroom settings (Villano, 2005) and proved to work especially well in my middle school social studies classroom.