Frequently, students struggle to see the relevance of studying history and other social sciences. Yet, history is full of stories and incalculable connections. I would like to develop a constant visual connection between the past and present through literature. I plan to create a classroom bookshelf display that will change with each transition of social science units. The books displayed in each unit will have some connection to the area of study in social science. My hope is to broaden students' awareness of cultural legacy and connections and deepen their empathy for other cultures. I would like to purchase about 100 books that connect to the different units of study for the 7th grade Social Sciences curriculum. I also need bookshelves to display them on.
Students who are in my classroom will be able to visually see connections to the past and be exposed to other cultures through high quality books. Furthermore, students from other classes may access the books. To promote interest and exposure to how history and cultures can influence the present, I will include genres such as historical fiction, nonfiction, contemporary fiction, fantasy, humor, mystery and myth inspired. Books associated with each unit will be of varying lengths and reading levels. For example, for the Roman Empire Unit I would include “The Aeneid a Graphic Novel” to expose students to classic literature and Roman myth, the mystery-based historical fiction book “Detectives in Togas”, the adventurous historical fiction book “Circus Maximus: Race to the Death”, the amusing “Spartapuss” series, and the nonfiction title “Ancient Rome for Kids” in addition to other titles. Students will be able to deepen their understanding of history and other cultures, while being able to connect with characters and practice literacy skills.
The success of this program will be measured by the number of students reading, talking, and deepening inquiry based on the titles, especially those on display during the unit. I hope to have students adding information or connections to class discussions based on what they read and talking to each other about what they read.
When the funds are available, I will work with Catherine Abarno and Elvia Lopez Esparza to place the order for the bookshelves, book display stands, and books. Once the books arrive, I will inventory each book and incorporate it into my digital BookSource classroom library catalog where I will tag the books under key words for the units to help students search online for the books as well. I will physically label and mark the books by genre and set up the display for the first unit of study. The other books will be positioned on the rest of my bookshelves. Once school starts, students will be introduced to my online BookSource catalog through which I can also monitor which books are checked out to which students. I will also highlight different books throughout the unit of study and recommend titles.
Students from all classes may check books out from my classroom libraries. Additionally, other teachers can select the titles I curated on the spreadsheet to match each unit of study.
The funds for purchasing books and bookshelves would come from the classroom fund; however, I primarily need to use those monies for basic classroom supplies.