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Eleanor Roosevelt

This blog post includes resources regarding the 1st Grade Social Studies SOL on American leaders and their contributions to the United States, specifically, the life of Eleanor Roosevelt (VA SOL 1.2).This post includes five different books that are great for the first grade level. These books provide the teachers and students with great information about this amazing first lady. The blog also includes five kid-friendly websites and five extra teacher-specific resources. I hope these books and websites are helpful in teaching a lesson(s) about the great Eleanor Roosevelt!BOOKS Eleanor (Picture Puffins)Written and Illustrated by Barbara Cooney


 This book, written by the award-winningauthor Barbara Cooney, is a storybook biography about Eleanor Roosevelt’s childhood and all of the hardships she had to deal with, such as being orphaned at the age of nine and being made fun of for being unattractive. This book also briefly illustrates some of her achievements that she made later in life. This is a great book to use when introducing this great American leader.A Picture Book of Eleanor RooseveltWritten by David A. Adler & Illustrated by Robert Cassilla


This biography provides great insight into Eleanor Roosevelt’s life. Key parts of her life are highlighted and written in a way that is easy to understand and great for early elementary schoolers. The pictures are beautiful watercolors and make the book very enjoyable to read aloud to students.


Stateswoman to the World: A Story About Eleanor Roosevelt

Written by Maryann N. Weidt & Illustrated by Lydia M. Anderson



This book is fictional in the beginning, but ends up being a biography summing up her strict childhood and life as the first lady. It includes quotes from primary sources, such as letters.  The black and white drawings are a great addition to this informative book about the great Eleanor Roosevelt.


Eleanor Roosevelt: A Photo- Illustrated Biography

By Lucille Davis



This biography explains the amazing life storyof Eleanor and her huge influence on human rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt

By Sally Lee



This biography illustrates Mrs. Roosevelt’s childhood, education, and life as the first lady and all that she accomplished. Kids will really enjoy this book because of the great photographs.




Kids Konnect: Eleanor Roosevelt

This website is very kid-friendly and includes many important dates and facts starting from her childhood through until after President Roosevelt died.


Dear Mrs. Roosevelt

This website includes examples of letters written by thousands of young people during the Great Depression. Many sent Mrs. Roosevelt requests, asking for clothing, food, and other forms of assistance. This website is very informative and helps the students to understand what it was like during the Great Depression, while Mrs. Roosevelt was the First Lady.


US History Webquest: Eleanor Roosevelt

This Webquest is fun and helps the students master the material. It was created for grades 4 and up and is very informative and forces the students to work together and come up with their own opinions and impressions from a radio program and photographs.


Eleanor Roosevelt Online Quiz

This quiz includes questions regarding facts about Eleanor Roosevelt. Students may work alone or in groups to complete this short 10 question quiz. This can be used as a form of summative or formative assessment.


A Student’s Summary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Life 

This great and short summary will definitely help the students to easily understand the great Eleanor Roosevelt and her life. It includes important facts and dates that would be very helpful for students learning about this First Lady.

ADDITIONAL TEACHER RESOURCESLesson Plans- Eleanor Roosevelt website offers a handful of very helpful lessons, this one in particular is great for younger primary school students. This lesson compares the popular picture book series, Olivia, to Eleanor Roosevelt. It is a very fun and interesting way to teach the material that the students will love.Lesson Plan: A Leader Who Helps People website provides a series of great lesson plans regarding the great Eleanor Roosevelt. This lesson, in particular, includes a few of the books that are listed above. This is the perfect lesson to use when introducing this material to the students.Who is Eleanor Roosevelt? website helps the teachers to get a better grasp on this American leader. There are many sections to this site such as: biographical essays, Q&A’s, quotations, and a glossary.Lesson Planet- Eleanor Roosevelt Lesson Plans Planet is a great resource that provides ten lesson plans regarding Eleanor Roosevelt. This site is very helpful for teachers who need to find some fun and interactive activities dealing with this well-known American leader.Youtube Video- Eleanor Roosevelt Story five minute video clip sums up Eleanor Roosevelt’s life and is very helpful for both teachers and students when learning and/or getting ready to teach a lesson on Mrs. Roosevelt.

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: The Story of Money


The Story of Money, written by Betsy Maestro and illustrated by Giulio Maestro, provides a thorough history of how simple pieces of paper eventually came to be the accepted means of payment around the world known as "money."  The book also highlights the act of trade whereby explaining the ancient procedures of bartering and use of commodities such as salt, grain, and tobacco as means of exchange.  In other words, long ago, people would exchange items they could spare for other items they desired (VA Economics SOL 1.8, 2.8).  Such is the case when the "Sumerians melted silver and formed it into small bars, [and] stamped [them] with exact weight [to] let people know how much silver they were getting or giving in return for goods or labor" (15).  In this, the barter system ultimately paved the way for money.  The authors uncover the many forms of money that have been connected with human history—past, present, and even, future.

Curriculum Connections

The authors do an excellent job at presenting a complicated subject in an easy to understand, entertaining way for children.  The book allows children to take a journey through time, thus clearly showing the evolution of money from what it was in the beginning to what it is today.  Just as the text progresses and modernizes throughout the book, so do the brilliant watercolor images.  Children see people working on the rivers, living in huts and wearing traditional dress as they exchange goods for "money" years ago.  As the pages draw to an end, children see images that have become familiar to them today.  Large cargo ships carry goods in and out of American ports and people wait in line at the bank for the ATM.  In all of these examples, children are introduced to the idea of consumers, suppliers, and the need to work together in order to satisfy needs (VA Economics SOL 3.7).

Additional Resources

  • This website for kids allows children to practice using coins so as not to “Break the Bank.”  They can research money history, play games, and create change! 
  • This interactive site presents children with a scenario of winning money then asks them choose ways in which to save their money.  The various paths kids take, demonstrate different outcomes, thus showing children the value of money.
  • This lesson plan for teachers to utilize when teaching money allows children to understand and master the practice of trading goods for money in the “Barter Bag.”

Book: The Story of Money

Author: Betsy Maestro

Illustrator: Giulio Maestro

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: April 25, 1995

Pages: 48 pages

Grade Range:  Ages 7-10

ISBN: 0688133045

Teaching Ancient History with Children’s Literature: Ancient Greece and the Olympics


Ancient Greece and the Olympics, written by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, illustrated by Sal Murdocca, is part of the infamous Magic Tree House Series that aims to realistically take children on a voyage through ancient history.  This particular journey to Greece begins with an introduction to the country's history and its people, then moves to the country's religion, its daily life and its culture.  All of these integral elements serve as the foundation for the major focus of this book.  Children are granted with a thorough understanding of Greece's background so as to see how the concept of the Olympic games originated within this magical culture of gods and goddesses.  "The ancient Greeks believed that strong bodies and sports pleased [these] gods, so they honored [them] with sporting events and contests, [thus] the Olympics began as a festival to honor Zeus, [ruler of all the gods]" (69).

Curriculum Connections

This book does a fabulous job uncovering history for children with vivid images, quirky captions, and easy to understand examples, but it also serves as a superb reference tool.  Children could easily utilize this guide when studying, writing about, or researching Ancient Greece and/ or how the country contributed to the creation of the Olympics Games as we know them today (VA SOL 3.1).  The authors provide frequent summaries recapping what prior pages have revealed, pronunciations of unfamiliar vocabulary, as well as italicized and bold terms with definitions that are crucial to the book's understanding.  For example, as the authors describe Athens, they tell readers that "Ancient Athens was divided into about 300 city-states, or poleis (POE-lace)" (14).

Additional Resources

This kid friendly site offers simple summaries, interactive activities, fun facts, and quizzes for children all about Ancient Greece.

With this website, children can learn about the Ancient Greek influence on the English language as they "Go for the Gold" in the Olympic Games. 

This site presents teachers with a mini-unit on theOlympics in Ancient Greece.  Each day is planned out as students meet the Olympians, prepare for various Olympic games, experience the traditional "Opening and Closing Procession" and so much more! 

Book: Ancient Greece and the Olympics: A Nonfiction Companion to Hour of the Olympics

Authors: Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Illustrator: Sal Murdocca

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 8, 2004

Pages: 128

Grade Range: Recommended Ages 6-10

ISBN: 978-0375823787

Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: A Very Important Day


A Very Important Day, written by Maggie Herold and illustrated by Catherine Stock serves as an exceptional introduction to the naturalization process.  Two-hundred nineteen people from thirty-two counties around the world travel to the same courthouse downtown New York to be sworn in as citizens of the United States of America.  It was a very important day.  Family and friends of the individuals waiting to be sworn in fill the building as the judge begins the oath of citizenship.  Upon repeating the oath, the judge declares his congratulations and says to all two-hundred nineteen new citizens, “You are carrying on a tradition that dates back to the earliest days of our country, for almost all Americans have come from somewhere else; may citizenship enrich your lives as your lives enrich this country, welcome, we are glad to have you.”  They all recited the Pledge of Allegiance and some recieved symbols of this great land, small American flags.  It was a very important day.  Now, all can vote, serve on juries, compete for government jobs, and travel freely outside of the United States.

 Curriculum Connections

As a tool in the classroom, this book would work well as students can easily relate to the vivid imagery of other children from other countries playing in the snow, eating pancakes with mom and dad, and racing friends outside.  In this, American children can see that other children, no matter where they come from, are similiar to themselves.  There is only one temporary difference–their home lands.  This can all change through the process of naturalization, which students will learn about throughout the course of this book.  The child from Mexico, the child from Ghana, and the child from Russia, carrying diverse customs from around the globe, are naturalized as they come together to become citizens of this great nation (VA SOL 3.12).   

Additional Resources

A Very Important Day is designed to work hand-in-hand with the actual book, presenting a game for children to play matching citizenship terms to the correct definitions. 

This site, comprised of a unit’s worth of lesson plans and activities, is great for teachers to utilize and refer to when teaching citizenship. 

C is for Citizenship, as part of, is an informative tool for children to refer to when learning about civics.  It is subdivided into several kid friendly categories such as becoming a US citizen, how to be a good citizen, etc…   

Book: A Very Important Day
Author: Maggie Herold
Illustrator: Catherine Stock
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 14, 1995
Pages: 40
Grade Range: First-Third

Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: One Well: The Story of Water on Earth



In the book  One Well: The Story of Water on Earth author Rochelle Strauss explores the concept that all water is connected – oceans, rivers, glaciers and raindrops are all a part of the global well.  The book is illustrated beautifully by Rosemary Woods and is part of the series Citizen Kid, a collection of books that inspire children to be better global citizens.

The author has created an engaging and insightful story about the water cycle, how we use water on Earth and the need for conservation. The book begins by explaining the concept that all water on earth is connected. “So whether you are turning on a faucet in North America or pulling water from a well in Kenya, or bathing in a river in India, it is all the same water.” Each page spread is dedicated to addressing an aspect of water on Earth. Children learn about the recycling of water (the water cycle), and how plants, animals and human beings depend on water to live. Children are presented with some uses of water they may be less familiar with. “About 21 percent of the water we use goes to making everything from computers to cars… Water vapor runs machinery. Water is an ingredient in many products such as lotions, shampoos, chemicals and drinks.” Throughout the book there are collections of interesting facts about water and it’s uses. “Every day 1.8 million tonnes (2 million tons) of garbage are dumped into Earth’s water – enough to fill more than 15,000 boxcars.” The last pages of the book explore access, demand, pollution and conservation.  The author addresses the need to think now about how we treat our water supply because it affects the entire earth and its inhabitants for years to come.

Curriculum Connections
This book pairs nicely with curriculum that teaches conservation or the water cycle and would be appropriate for grades 3-5.  Students can learn about the processes involved in the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation) (SOL 3.9b), that water is essential for living things (3.9 c), and about the supply and conservation of water. (SOL 3.9d) Teachers may also find the book a good fit when teaching about natural resources and how human influences can affect the survival of species. (SOL 3.10a,b,d)

Additional Resources

  • The back pages in the book provide additional information and ideas for discussing water conservation. The publisher, Kids Can Press has a Learning Resource guide for the book on their website.
  • The EPA has an easy to understand animation of the  water cycle as well as a good selection of interactive games.
  • This complete lesson plan Water: A Never Ending Story includes hands on activities for exploring evaporation, condensation, precipitation and water and soil.

Author: Rochelle Strauss
Rosemary Woods
Kids Can Press
Publication Date:
32 pages
Grade Range:

Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: A Seed in Need: A First Look at the Plant Cycle


A Seed in Need: A First Look at the Plant Cycle by Sam Godwin is an engaging introduction to the life cycle of a plant.  The author describes the parts of the flower and the life cycle in language that is easy for younger readers to understand.  The bright and cheery illustrations by Simone Abel are sure to capture the attention of young children.

This story takes the reader from seed, to seedling, to bud, and finally to sunflower.  Along the way the two main characters of the book, Snail and Ladybug provide conversational dialogue that includes additional facts about plants and funny comments. On one page we learn that “The white shoot pushes its way through the soil. It has become a seedling.”  Snail says, “Plants need sunlight to make them big and strong.” Ladybug replies, “I like sunlight, too!”  The stem grows taller and thicker, gets sunlight and water, and plays host to little creatures of the garden.  Soon a bud appears and begins to unfold. “The bud turns into a beautiful flower. Bees and butterflies come to visit.”  Readers learn from Snail that the insects come to drink the nectar.  Finally the petals fall and the gardener collects the seeds to plant next spring.  The cycle is complete.  On the last page there is a two page illustration of the sunflower, so children have a chance to review the parts of the plant.

Curriculum Connections
This book is perfect for introducing the parts of a plant and learning about plant life cycles. It would work best in the K-1 classroom. The concepts included would integrate well with lessons where the students must investigate and understand the basic needs and life processes of plants and animals; including living things change as they grow and need food, water and air to survive; and plants and animals live and die (go through a life cycle) (SOLs k.6a,b, and 1.4a). It would also work well with students learning the parts of a plant (seeds, roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, fruits) (SOL 1.4b)

Additional Resources

  • In the back of the book is a page of vocabulary words, a few fun facts and a short list of other books.
  • This sequencing worksheet would be a good exercise to reinforce the stages of the plant’s life cycle.
  • Students investigate the inside of a lima bean seed in this experiment.
  • This lesson plan has students grow their own seeds.
  • This web activity lets students put the parts of a plant together and shows a seed growing under different conditions.

Author: Sam Godwin
Simone Abel
Picture Window Books
Publication Date:
Grade Range:

New Blog for Nonfiction!

I.N.K. – Interesting Nonfiction for Kids

Here’s what the sidebar says.

Here we will meet the writers whose words are presenting nonfiction in a whole new way. Discover books that show how nonfiction writers are some of the best storytellers around. Learn how these writers practice their craft: research techniques, fact gathering and detective work. Check out how they find unusual tidbits, make the facts interesting and write something kids will love to read. Explore how photos and illustrations are integrated with the text to explain an artists vision of the world. Consider what subjects are flooding the market and what still needs a voice. Rethink nonfiction for kids.

Contributors include (just look at this list!):

Woohoo! I can’t wait to read what these fine folks have in store. Do click on over and check it out.