August 2018 - History Gal

Growing a Classroom Library? Add these books!

By History Gal

Lately, I've been daydreaming about creating a social studies classroom library. When I see the amazing collections amassed by my friends who teach ELA, I think back to the collection of thirty year old encyclopedias, old textbooks, and atlases that made up my classroom library when I was in the classroom. They definitely served a purpose, but students weren't exactly excited to use them.

What if teachers added books to their libraries that hooked students and made them want to learn more? What if the books made a foreign culture or time more relevant? What if the books were just fun to read? What if the classroom library became a spot that students liked to go to and were excited about?

While I was creating a wish list of books for my dream library, I realized I didn't have many recent books on my list. So, I asked my good friend and ELA teacher, Rachel of Writing by Rachel, to make me a list of recent books that should be added to a middle school social studies classroom collection. Here are her amazing suggestions.


Do This Before Your Students Open a Textbook!

by History Gal

Have you ever done things a certain way for years and then had a revelation that you've been doing it wrong? Well, this happened to me a few years ago.

I've always liked to assign reading homework to my high school students so they'd be prepared for the next day's lesson. And, every time, the results were dismal. I'd pretty much given up on having students read when a conversation I had with some other teachers helped me realize that I was going into the new school year with a huge assumption.

I assumed that somewhere along the line - in middle school or as freshmen - that my students had been taught HOW to read secondary sources. 

I was wrong.

Back to Top