Archives for posts with tag: Social Studies


Author: John Cech, Illustrator: Sharon McGinley-Nally

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Grade level: 3-5

SOL: Civics

3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and
traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and
respect for individual rights and freedoms.

Summary: Based on a true story, in this book, a grandmother tells her granddaughter a bedtime story about her journey from Russia to America during the revolution.  To the girl, the story seems magical, including gypsies and fields of butterflies, and a brave hero who journeys across the world.  In the end, the reader discovers it is the grandmother’s own story.

Why I chose it: The story is beautifully written and illustrated.  The illustrations have a russian style with bold colors, and I think it would be a good story to start a discussion on diversity and how families come from different places.



Author: Loreen Leedy

Publisher: Square Fish

Grade Level: K-3

SOL: Geography

2.6 The student will demonstrate map skills by constructing simple maps, using title, map legend, and compass rose.

Summary: Lisa makes a map of her bedroom, with the help of her dog Penny.  While doing this, she decides that she will map Penny’s world, and create maps of the exotic places they will go.

Why I chose it: This book clearly points out important aspects of maps including scale, key, and compass rose, which connects directly to the SOLs.

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln

Title: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln

Author: Mary Pope Osborne

Publisher: Random House

Related SOLs:
History VS.7- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by
a) identifying the events and differences between northern and southern states that divided
Virginians and led to secession, war, and the creation of West Virginia;
b) describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia;
c) describing the roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians.

History USI.9-The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by
a) describing the cultural, economic, and constitutional issues that divided the nation;
b) explaining how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased sectional tensions;
c) identifying on a map the states that seceded from the Union and those that remained in the Union;
d) describing the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Frederick Douglass in events leading to and during the war;
e) using maps to explain critical developments in the war, including major battles;
f) describing the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldiers
(including African American soldiers), women, and enslaved African Americans.

Amazon Grade Level: 3rd- 5th

Summary: This non-fiction chapter book is about the life of Abraham Lincoln. Readers will learn about Lincoln as a child and follow is his story to his unfortunate death.

I chose this book because it serves as a good resource for students learning about Abraham Lincoln. Although it is a non-fiction book it is written in a way that still keeps readers excited and interested to find out what happens next. Another great aspect of this story is that is provides readers with tips on how to conduct research and provides actual resources the reader can use to learn more about Lincoln.

All About America: Colonist and Independence

Title: All About America: Colonists and Independence

Author: Sally Senzell Isaacs

Publisher: Kingfisher

Related SOLs:
History VS.3- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by
a) explaining the reasons for English colonization;
b) describing how geography influenced the decision to settle at Jamestown;
e) identifying the importance of the arrival of Africans and English women to the Jamestown settlement;
f) describing the hardships faced by settlers at Jamestown and the changes that took place to ensure survival;
g) describing the interactions between the English settlers and the native peoples, including the contributions of Powhatan to the survival of the settlers.

History VS.5- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by
a) identifying the reasons why the colonies went to war with Great Britain, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence;
b) identifying the various roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians in the Revolutionary War era, including George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and James Lafayette;

History USI.6- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes and results of the American Revolution by
a) identifying the issues of dissatisfaction that led to the American Revolution;
b) identifying how political ideas shaped the revolutionary movement in America and led to the Declaration of Independence;
c) describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with
emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry;
d) explaining reasons why the colonies were able to defeat Great Britain

Amazon Grade Level: 4th- Up

Summary: Colonist and Independence gives an overview of the major events leading up to America’s independence from the 1600s. The book begins with the establishment of Jamestown, tells of the Salem Witch Trials, explains the use of slaves, the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, and the events after the Revolutionary War.

I chose this book because I believe it provides readers with an age appropriate understanding of the events that began and formed our nation. Because of the amount of side notes and small sections of information, I believe this book would be more suitable for individual exploration versus a read aloud. I also like this book because it really allows the reader to dive into and explore our country’s history.

The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin

Title: The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin
Author: James Cross Giblin
Publisher: Scholastic Press

1.2 The student will describe the stories of American leaders and their contributions to our country, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 4.8

Summary: This biography begins when Benjamin Franklin was a boy and goes all the way to when he drew lightning in from a kite. It tells the story of his life explaining his contributions to history.

Explanation: The main reason I chose this book was because I loved the illustrations. They are painted and really capture Franklin’s important role in history. I also enjoyed how this book started with Franklin as a little boy because I thought it made it more related to students.

Getting to Know France and French

Title: Getting to Know France and French
Author: Nicola Wright
Publisher: Barron’s


3.5 The student will develop map skills by
a) positioning and labeling the seven continents and five oceans to create a world map;
b) using the equator and prime meridian to identify the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Hemispheres;
c) locating the countries of Spain, England, and France;

USI.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of European exploration in North America and West Africa by
a) describing the motivations for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English explorations;

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 1

Summary: This book allows the reader to learn about France. There is a map of France that allows new readers to grasp geography concepts. Also, this book clearly outlines culture of France including: food, children, school, regions and festivals.

Explanation: I chose this book because it offers a lot of information about the culture of France as well as being relatable to children. Readers can easily connect with the chapter “children in France.” I would use this book to introduce difference regions to the class.

The Egyptian News

Title: The Egyptian News
Author: Scott Steedman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
SOL Geography
2.4 The student will develop map skills by
a) locating the United States, China, and Egypt on world maps;
b) understanding the relationship between the environment and the culture of ancient China
and Egypt;
Economics 2.8 The student will distinguish between the use of barter and the use of money in the exchange for goods and services.
Reading Level 1000L
Summary: This book is written as a newspaper describing Ancient Egypt in terms of hunting, social affairs, pyramids, geography, tombs, mummies, trading, bartering, and rulers. It even contains advertisements for boats and wigs and wanted ads for weavers and craftsmen.
I chose this book because I liked how the cover stuck out since it is written as a newspaper. I thought it was an interesting idea to give information through this type of format. I thought it was pretty creative that this book had funny advertisements for marriage contracts and other Egyptian things, but also contained interviews with mummy makers and doctors who use remedies for healing. The colorful illustrations and borders really adds to what life was like in Ancient Egypt.