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Education - Social Studies Resources (Elementary)

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Literature-based social studies teaching and learning in multidisciplinary and multidimensional --it has no boundaries and no limits.  In essence, a literature-based approach to social studies offers students a realistic arena within which they can learn and investigate social studies concepts for extended periods of time.  It is a process approach to learning of the highest magnitude...The use of literature within social studies is based on several precepts:

1. Literature provides an ever-expanding array of information in a format that is welcome and familiar to students.

2. Literature extends the social studies curriculum beyond any textbook constraints.

3. Literature relates to children's lives in diverse and divergent ways.

4. Literature, both fiction and nonfiction, helps children understand their cultural, ethnic, and religious heritage.

5. Literature assists children in developing positive attitudes toward themselves, peopl in their immediate environment, and peoples from around the world.

6. Literature provides vicarious and firsthand experiences with all social studies disciplines.

7. Literature provides students with new information and knowledge unobtainable in any other format.

8. Literature stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving abilities in a variety of contexts.

9. Literature opens up the world and draws students in to make self-initiated discoveries.

10. Literature is fun!

--from Much More Social Studies Through Children's Literature by Anthony Fredericks, (pp.14-15) (300.7 FrM 2007)

Finding Children's Literature in the Doucette Library

When looking for books related to the past and present about the prairies, the Acadians or the Inuit try some of these search strategies:

  • prairie$ juvenile [limit to] Doucette - (**Note: The $ sign is a truncation mark that tells the system to look for all words a phrases with 'prairie' in it such as prairies, prairie provinces, etc.
  • Alberta juvenile [limit to] Doucette - (**Note: also use Saskatchewan and Manitoba for more specific searches)
  • Acadia$ [limit to] Doucette - (**Note: again this is truncated to include Acadian, Acadians, etc.)
  • Inuit juvenile [limit to] Doucette

By including the word 'juvenile' you are restricting the search so only books written for young people will come up.  Not including it will bring up additional resources that will support teaching the subject matter.

Some books ABOUT teaching Social Studies with children's books are listed below.

Ask yourself:

-Is the information accurate?

-Are there stereotypes or biases? Is the voice and are the values authentic when depicting culturally diverse people?

-What is the quality of the writing and illustrating?

-Does this resource help students go 'below the surface' of the topic?

-Will it provoke students to ask questions?  What questions?

-Will it help create intellectual or emotional engagement?

-Does this resource 'speak' from a particular perspective?  Whose?

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