Happy 4th of July! Independence Day brings to mind one of my favorite Social Studies units. As a fourth grade teacher, I loved teaching about the Revolutionary War. From biographies of famous Americans to historical fiction, there are many choices for students to learn about this exciting time period from literature.
Jean Fritz has written several biographies about the founding fathers. She includes fascinating details about the individual and the time period. Her books are humorous as well as informative. If you are looking for strong examples of the trait of voice in a biography, look no further! Some of her books include And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?, Why Don't You Get A Horse Sam Adams?, and What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?
She also has some biographies written for novice readers, including George Washington's Mother.
The unlikely spies of the revolutionary war capture the attention and imagination of students. Some of my students' favorite historical fiction books about these brave individuals include Phoebe the Spy by Judith Griffin and Margot Tomes,
Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady, and
Buttons for General Washington by Peter Roop and Connie Roop.
When reading historical fiction, I have students designate a few pages in their reader's notebooks where they jot notes on interesting facts about life in that time period and the historic events that they learn throughout the story. This helps them better understand the genre of historical fiction, and also supports the Social Studies curriculum.
Happy Reading to you and Happy Birthday, America!