10 Authors for Elementary School Social Studies Teachers to Know

The Common Core State Standards are being rolled out this fall, and teachers around the United States are looking for ways to incorporate more nonfiction books into their lessons. I have been devoting this week to helping teachers find excellent nonfiction books to incorporate into their lesson plans.

On Monday, I discussed the main goal of the Common Core language arts standards and the role of nonfiction children’s literature in helping teachers meet this goal. On Tuesday, I recommended science texts for teachers to incorporate into their lessons. Today, I share social studies texts for teachers to incorporate into their lessons.

Day 1. Introduction: The Common Core Standards are Here

Day 2. Common Core Science Texts

Day 3. Common Core Social Studies Texts

In Tuesday’s post about science texts, I recommended sixteen picture book series. While there are many high quality series of science picture books, the same cannot be said for social studies picture books. Thus, rather than recommend social studies series, I have decided to highlight ten authors who consistently write high quality nonfiction books about various social studies topics.

Social Studies Texts

1. Barbara Kerley

Kerley - Those RebelsKerley - Walt Whitman

Kerley - One World One Day

Books: Those Rebels, John and TomWalt Whitman: Words for AmericaThe Dinosaurs of Waterhouse HawkinsWhat to Do About Alice?The Extraordinary Mark TwainOne World, One DayYou and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the WorldA Cool Drink of WaterA Little Peace

  • Lexile: 550-970
  • Grade level: K+

2. Jeanette Winter

Winters - The Librarian of BasraWinter - BiblioburroWinter - The Watcher

Books: The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from IraqFollow the Drinking GourdBiblioburro: A True Story from ColumbiaWangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from AfricaThe Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the ChimpsKali’s SongNasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from AfghanistanDiegoThe Secret World of HildegardSeptember RosesMy Name Is Georgia: A PortraitCalavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet BookBeatrixEmily Dickinson’s Letters to the WorldCowboy Charlie: The Story of Charles M. Russell

  • Lexile: 580-780
  • Grade level: K+

3. Monica Brown

Brown - Pablo NerudaBrown - Waiting for the BiblioburroBrown - My Name is Gabriela

Books: Tito Puente, Mambo KingPablo Neruda: Poet of the PeoplePele, King of SoccerWaiting for the BiblioburroMy Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia MarquezSide by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar ChavezMy Name is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela MinstralMy Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz

  • Lexile: 850-910
  • Grade level: K+

4. Kadir Nelson

Nelson - Heart and SoulAbe's Honest WordsNelson - Henry's Freedom Box

Books: Nelson MandelaI Have a DreamHeart and Soul: The Story of America and African AmericansA Nation’s HopeMama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of KenyaTesting the Ice: A True Story About Jackie RobinsonCoretta ScottAbe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham LincolnWe Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League BaseballHenry’s Freedom BoxMoses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom

  • Lexile: 380-1050
  • Grade level: 1+

5. Deborah Hopkinson

Hopkinson - Apples to OregonHopkinson - Sky BoysHopkinson - A Band of Angels

Books: Apples to OregonSky BoysAnnie and HelenA Boy Called DickensMichelleJohn Adams Speaks for FreedomSusan B. Anthony: Fighter for Women’s RightsA Band of AngelsSweet Land of LibertyTitanic: Voices From the DisasterShutting Out the SkyUp Before DaybreakWho Was Charles Darwin?

  • Lexile: 590-950
  • Grade level: 1+

6. Betsy and Giulio Maestro

Maestro - The Discovery of the AmericasA More Perfect UnionThe Story of the Statue of Liberty

Books: The Discovery of the AmericasExploration and Conquest: The Americas After Columbus, 1500-1620The New Americans: Colonial Times, 1620-1689Struggle for a Continent: The French and Indian WarsLiberty or Death: The American Revolution, 1763-1783A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our ConstitutionA New Nation: The United States: 1783-1815The Story of Clocks and CalendarsThe Story of MoneyThe Story of ReligionThe Story of the Statue of LibertyComing to America: The Story of Immigration

  • Lexile: 740-1110
  • Grade level: 2+

7. Andrea Davis Pinkney

Pinkney - Duke EllingtonPinkney - Sit-InPinkney - Hand in Hand

Books: Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin’ CowboyElla Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal VirtuosaDuke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His OrchestraAlvin AileySit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting DownHand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

  • Lexile: 500-1000
  • Grades: 2+

8. Joseph Bruchac

Bruchac - A Boy Called Slow

Bruchac - Jim Thorpe's Bright PathChildren of the Longhouse

Books: A Boy Called Slow, Buffalo Song, Crazy Horse’s Vision, Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path, Many Nations: An Alphabet of Native America, Navajo Long Walk, Rabbit’s Snow Dance, Rachel Carson, Raccoon’s Last Race, Squanto’s Journey, 13 Moons on Turtle’s Back, Turtle’s Race with Beaver, The First Strawberries: A Cherokee StoryChildren of the LonghouseSacajawea

  • Lexile: 690-950
  • Grade level: 2+

9. Jean Fritz

Fritz - Can You Make Them Behave King GeorgeFritz - Shh! We're Writing the ConstitutionFritz - The Great Little Madison

Books: Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?Who’s That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?Where Was Patrick Henry on the 19th of May?What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?And Then What Happened Paul Revere?Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?George Washington’s BreakfastGeorge Washington’s MotherShh! We’re Writing the ConstitutionThe Double Life of Pocahontas, The Great Little Madison

  • Lexile: 780-1030
  • Grade level: 3+

10. Russell Freedman

Freedman - The Boston Tea PartyFreedman - LincolnFreedman - Eleanor Roosevelt

Books: The Boston Tea Party, Buffalo Hunt, Lincoln: A Photobiography, Out of Darkness, The Wright Brothers, The Adventures of Marco Polo, Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery, Children of the Great Depression, Children of the Wild West, Immigrant Children, Give Me Liberty!: The Story of the Declaration of Independence, In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America’s Bill of Rights

  • Lexile: 1000-1110
  • Grade level: 4+

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This entry was posted in Ages 5+, Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+, nonfiction books and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 10 Authors for Elementary School Social Studies Teachers to Know

  1. This is great! Thank you :-)

  2. LuciT says:

    Thank for this list, great ideas!

  3. Great list! Perhaps Shana Corey’s women’s biography picture books would work well too. http://www.shanacorey.com/books/

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