Skip to content

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:

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?

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. The Urtext of many of the above:

    Sam Wineburg’s Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Critical Perspectives On The Past)

    Although US based, nearly all the strategies of these texts can be used in any history class:

    James Percoco’s A Passion for the Past: Creative Teaching of U.S. History (1998) and Divided We Stand: Teaching about Conflict in U.S. History (2001)

    World History:

    Heidi Roupp (editor),Teaching World History in the Twenty-First Century: A Resource Book (Sources & Studies in World History)
    Edmund Burke III, David Christian, and Ross E. Dunn, World History: The Big Eras. A Compact History of Humankind for Teachers and Students. A Companion to World History for Us All. A Model Curriculum for World History. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles UCLA, 2009. (Note: the website is more useful.)

    Two for general teaching:

    John Hattie, Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement
    Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, 2nd edition (I think it is important to note that this is the 2ND EDITION – many changes from the widely used first edition, many based on Hattie’s work)

    April 15, 2014
    • glennw #


      I love Wineburg’s original stuff as well as Percoco’s book. I wasn’t aware of his Teaching About Conflict book – so I’m smarter today than I was yesterday!

      Also need to go back and review Hattie’s work.

      Thanks for sharing a great list!


      April 15, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Books that shaped America. Mmm . . . | Tech, We...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: