Weaving Children’s Literature into Social Studies K–5

K. General Sharing

Suggested Time: 25 minutes


  • overheads of any desired activities or parts of activities
  • sign up sheet for participants requiring copies of materials (Appendix XXXIV)

Participant Handout:

  • 2-page list of Appendices
  1. The remainder of this section is a time for general sharing by all of book titles, ideas, and teaching strategies. Start off by sharing some of the materials and strategies listed below:

    The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles. This interesting story about a feral boy shows no country of origin and it’s impossible to tell in which country it might have happened. It is clearly an Arab country and clearly takes place is desert and semi-arid areas. It could easily have taken place in Tunisia – there is nothing in the book that COULDN’T have taken place in Tunisia. This gives us an opportunity for an Inquiry project in which students prove or disprove that the story could have taken place in Tunisia. (This instructional strategy also works for a number of stories that take place in Maine, which is part of Acadia.) This idea is developed in two versions in Appendix XXXIV, entitled The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles - Question: Could this story have taken place in Tunisia? Filename Boy Who Ran with Gazelles.doc.

    In the Heart of the Village: The World of the Indian Banyan Tree. This intriguing book shows how the people in an Indian village adapt to the environment of the banyan tree. The document entitled Children’s Literature in Grade 3 Social Studies: Adapting to the Environment, filename Environment Gr 3.doc in Appendix XXXV gives related book titles and suggested activities for use of this book.

    Research Project for Language Arts and Social Studies: Animals of Tunisia, Peru, India and Ukraine. This document, in Appendix XXXVI, filename Animal Reports Gr 3.doc provides a chance for students to follow their interests in animals and focuses where possible on animals that have cultural significance for the countries.

    Important Book. This timeless book provides a perfect model for distilling the essence of things. It’s a great model for writing in the younger grades. See Appendix XXXVII, document entitled The Important Book, filename The Important Book.doc for a writing page for young students.

    Stories of Canada’s Past – Grade 5. We are lucky to have quite a few very good stories about Canada’s past. Many of these are in the box collection, including the wide selection in Spirit of Canada. Appendix XXXIII, entitled Stories of Canada’s Past – Grade 5, filename Stories of Canada's Past Gr 5.doc provides a table for the retrieval and comparison of some of the data to be found in these stories. Other titles that could be used in this activity include:

    • Silver Threads
    • Maria Chapdelaine
    • Belle of Batoche
    • Stoneboat

    This grid could be filled in by students individually, in pairs, or on a class wall chart. A similar activity could be done with the many fine novels available that are set in historical Canada.

  2. Invite participants to share children’s literature titles and/or teaching strategies that they have used that they have found to be successful.

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This resource was developed by ERLC as a result of a grant from Alberta Education to support implementation.