Social Studies Read Alouds for the Primary Classroom





I love including read alouds in my instruction in all subjects.  I love to do read alouds during social studies very much.  If you are looking for some great read alouds to teach social studies…you are in the right place!  I have compiled a list of 15 read alouds that are perfect to accompany your social studies lessons this year.


Why should I read social studies books to my class?
Read alouds bring student learning to life.  Students are able to see real world pictures and gain new knowledge through visuals and text.  It is very beneficial for students to be able to see places and things that they haven’t seen before.  For example, if you are teaching about landforms, you may have a student that has never seen a mountain.  By reading a book about landforms and showing real world pictures, the student is able to place a visual image with this vocabulary word.


What are some teaching strategies that are good for me to use with social studies?

1.  Use photographs
This helps student to see visual images that can help deepen their understanding of social studies content that may not be familiar to them.
Examples-pictures of famous people, rivers, families

2.  Use real world objects
This strategy allows your lessons to be hands on even during social studies.  You can bring in items to help students get a better understanding of social studies academic vocabulary. 
Examples- globes, artifacts

3.  Integrating literacy in social studies
You can read a variety of different books that give students the opportunity to use their reading comprehension skills in social studies.  You can include writing activities with your lessons to encourage your students to write about the social studies ideas you have taught. 
Examples-responding to a social studies read aloud with writing

4.  Building Background Knowledge
This allows you to gain knowledge about your students already know about different social studies topics. 
Examples- What do you already know about citizenship?

5.  Class Discussions and Accountable Talk
Encourages students to talk about their social studies learning.  They can hold conversations with partners and groups.  
Examples- You can get them started by giving them an accountable talk stem such as Rosa parks is important because ______.

6.  Reflection Activity
You should close out all lessons with reflection time.  This allows students time to process their new learning.  You can have them turn and talk with a partner and share what they learned.  You can pick a few students to share with the class. 
Examples- What did I learn today anchor chart, exit tickets, journal



What are some great read alouds for social studies?
Below you will find 15 read alouds that are perfect for social studies in the primary classroom.  For each book, I will list the title, author, an activity idea, and my social studies unit that matches well with 1 of my 15 units from my Social Studies Bundle.


1. Looking at Maps and Globes by Rebecca Olien
Activity:  Compare maps and globes for similarities and differences, labeling a map and globe freebie (you will need to download the preview)
You can view the Geography Unit here!
Image result for Looking at Maps and Globes by Rebecca Olien

2. What to Wear Dressing up Around the World by Maya Ajmera, Elise Derstine, and Cynthia Pon
Activity: pebblego research and view different cultures of the world, give a presentation to the class with the information
You can view the World Culture Unit here!
Image result for What to Wear Dressing up Around the World by Maya Ajmera, Elise Derstine, and Cynthia Pon


3. Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland
Activity: I am thankful for ____ writing activity
You can view the Holidays Unit here!
Image result for Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks

4. School Long Ago and Today by Sally Lee                                                                                        (The other titles in this set include Food, Communication, and Transportation Long Ago and Today)
Activity: venn diagram comparing school in the past and school now
You can view the Long Ago and Today Unit here!
Image result for School Long Ago and Today by Sally Lee                    

5. Living in Urban Communities by Kristin Sterling                                                                         
(The other titles in this set include Living in Rural and Suburban Communities)
Activity: foldable with headings urban, suburban, and rural and write facts for each
You can view the Living Environments Unit here!
Image result for Living in Urban Communities by Kristin Sterling

6. I am a Good Citizen by Sharon Coan
Activity: Make a t-chart with the headers school, community, and home and have students list ways they can be a good citizen in each of these locations
You can view the Good Citizenship Unit here!
Image result for  am a Good Citizen by Sharon Coan

7. Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook
Activity: write their own who am I writing for a community worker and have a partner to guess
You can view the Community Workers Unit here!
Image result for Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook

8. Earth’s Landforms and Bodies of Water by Natalie Hyde
Activity: Make a t-chart with the headers land and water and have students list and talk about as many as they can name
You can view the Landforms and Water Unit here!
Image result for Earth’s Landforms and Bodies of Water by Natalie Hyde

9. Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney
You can view the My World Unit here!
Image result for Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney


10. What does the President Do? by Amanda Miller
Activity:  Complete writing and fill in the blanks My mayor is, My governor is, and My president is _____.
You can view the U.S. Government Unit here!
Image result for What does the President Do? by Amanda Miller



11. Families by Shelley Rotner and Shelia M. Kelly
Activity: draw and label a picture of their family
You can view the Families Unit here!
Image result for Families by Shelley Rotner and Shelia M. Kelly


12. Lily Learns about Wants and Needs by Lisa Bullard
Activity: Using old magazines, have students cut out wants and needs and sort them
You can view the Economics Unit here!
You can download the Economics Unit Freebie here!
Image result for Lily Learns about Wants and Needs by Lisa Bullard


13. The Pledge of Allegiance by Scholastic Inc.
Activity: practice the pledge in class, draw a picture to show what the pledge means to them
You can view the American Symbols Unit here!
Image result for The Pledge of Allegiance by Scholastic Inc.


14. Continents in my World by Ella Cane
Activity: Using a big map, have students place a sticker on the country where they where born and talk with friends about their native country
You can view the Continents and Oceans Unit here!
Image result for Continents in my World by Ella Cane


15. Who was Martin Luther King, Jr? by Bonnie Bader
Activity: writing to explain why this person was important to our country
You can view the Famous Americans Unit here!
Image result for Who was Martin Luther King, Jr? by Bonnie Bader

Want to learn more about my Social Studies Bundle….check out this post with a lot more information to help you get started!

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Let me know how I can help with engaging resources to help your students SOAR!

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