Books that shaped America. Mmm . . .
As part of the celebration of their 100th birthday, the US Department of Labor recently put together a list titled “Books That Shaped Work in America.” It’s an interesting list. And I will be the first to admit that more than several of the books are unfamiliar to me and that more than several of the books are . . . mmm . . . interesting selections.
I mean, I get why The Jungle made the list. Why Liar’s Poker made the list. Even Busy Busy Town (a personal favorite). But still scratching my head a bit on I’m a Frog and Madam Secretary. That’s the cool thing about lists – everyone has a different opinion. I also like the idea that the Department of Labor asked current and former employees to create the list.
But it got me thinking.
What are the books that have shaped and are continuing to shape social studies / history education?
What print or online resources can help us do our jobs better? Theories and research. Examples. Templates. Suggestions. Ideas. Strategies. And as much as I love Busy Busy Town, that’s the list of stuff that I want. Fun and practical.
But because it’s late Sunday night while I’m writing this, coming up with a list of 100 ain’t gonna happen. But I feel pretty good about these six:
- Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?: Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12
Bruce Lesh’s awesome book highlighting his ideas of how to get kids to think historically in effective ways. Phenomenal.
- Reading Like a Historian: Teaching Literacy in Middle and High School History Classrooms
Sam Wineburg’s latest book. Practical ideas and resources. Now aligned to Common Core literacy standards.
- Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited About Doing History
I’ve always liked James Loewen’s stuff. This is his most recent and most practical book.
- The Memory Hole
Written by former NCHE prez and awesome teacher/presenter Fritz Fisher, The Memory Hole examines five central topics in the US history curriculum, showing how anti-historians of both the left and right seek to distort these topics and insert a refashioned story in America’s classrooms.
- Building Students’ Historical Literacy: Learning to Read and Reason with Historical Texts and Evidence
Written by Jeffery Nokes, this just came out at the end of 2012. And, yes, it’s a bit more “academic” than the others on my list. But it’s got great, practical stuff about reading and writing in the discipline.
- Every Book is a Social Studies Book: How to Meet Standards with Picture Books, K-6
The authors, Jeannette Balantic, Andrea S. Libresco, Jonie C. Kipling, have put together an amazing collection of discipline-specific strategies along with extensive collections of trade and picture books all aligned to the 10 national NCSS social studies themes.
What would you add to the list? Should websites be on the list? What about apps? And would you include content / foundational knowledge books such as America Aflame and Band of Brothers?
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