Archive for the 'social studies' Category

Economics Ideas: Human Resources

In elementary school, students are learn about human, natural, and capital resources as part of their economics unit. These resources are closely related to the student’s study of goods and services. Human resources are defined as people who work to provide services or to produce goods.



Abuela’s Weave is a story that follows Esperanza and her Abuela as they work hard on their weaving to prepare goods to sell in the village. They live in a small, market town in Guatemala and must provide for their family with the money that they make. This story is a great way to illustrate the process of producing a good and how the end result plays out.


The book How Santa Got His Job follows Santa from the beginning of his career, to his final job as the Santa Claus we know today. It begins with him as a chimney sweeper, and details his journey from job to job, as he learns many different skills that eventually lead to him becoming Santa Claus. For example, he works at the post office to learn about delivering packages, he works at the zoo, where he falls in love with reindeer, and so on. This is a great book to illustrate how different types of human resources require very specific skills, many of which are learned skills.


Human resources typically are working to provide a service or create a product. In this book, students can explore how one good (in this case, a book) goes through many different stages of production and requires lots of human resources. The author, Aliki, has provided two different levels of text. The big text is very basic and follows the simple story line, while the smaller text is much more detailed and describes the finer points of book production. This would be a great way to use the book for various ages or to differentiate a classroom.


Eric Carle uses his whimsical collage-style illustration to tell the story of Walter the baker in this book. Walter is the main baker for the Duke and Duchess of his home town and his specialty is his sweet rolls. When he gets to asked to make a type of roll that the sun can shine through three times, he must rush to meet the challenge. The story follows his journey of producing the new type of roll, which in turn illustrates how a human resource (the baker) uses specific skills to produce a product.


All of Charlie’s friends and family tell him that he needs a new cloak. He is a poor shepherd so he cannot afford to buy himself a new one – he decides instead to make one! The story follows his production of a beautiful new red cloak, from shearing his sheep to weaving and dying the cloth to sewing the actual cloak. The idea that specific skills are required to make various products is reiterated for students in this book.


1. In this website, students can explore different jobs and what those jobs entail. It also helps students understand that different human resources play different roles in our community.

2. In this matching game, the students must match the human resource with their role in the community. It is an interesting way for students to explore the different skills required for jobs.\

3. This site is a huge database of jobs that are sorted by skill and interest. Students can go to the site, choose a subject area or area of interest, and then the site guides them through many different career options. This could be part of a fun webquest!

4. This is another matching game, but this time the students must explore which human resource pairs up with which capital resource.

5. Here is a webquest that allows students not only to explore human resources, but also the concepts of natural resources, capital resources, and goods and services. In the end, students create a simple product and must present and advertise it to the class.

Additional Resources

1. This is a great lesson plan based on the book The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulsen. The lesson reviews capital, natural, and human resources and includes a fun craft.

2. Another great lesson plan, this activity takes students through the process of making crayons. Crayons are something that all kids love and can relate to, and it’s a process that they may not know about. The lesson focuses on how resources are used in the crayon production.

3. This upper elementary lesson plan helps students explore different jobs and what those jobs entail. As they read about different jobs around the community, they begin to understand how specific the skills are for each human resource in our community.

4. For lower elementary students, this lesson plan is a great way to familiarize them with the concepts of natural, capital, and human resources. The lesson plan focuses on a very well known story – The Three Little Pigs!


Harriet Tubman




Harriet Tubman was an incredible part of American History. She led a challenging life, but was still strong enough to rescue around 300 slaves from captivity. Her strength and courage remain an inspiration, even to this day. Students will learn about her childhood, and her work with the underground railroad and the Union Army. Students will connect her life and experiences to the events that were occurring in American history at that time.


Text Sources

Who was Harriet Tubman? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

This book is recommended for students ages nine through twelve, though it would be appropriate to read aloud to younger students as well. Who was Harriet Tubman is a wonderful story that gives students the history of this incredible woman. McDonough details Tubman’s life as a slave, then a worker of the Underground Railroad, and later as a nurse. The book gives a history of the time period in which Tubman lived, letting students understand the context of her story. McDonough has also written “Who was…” books about Helen Keller, Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, and many other historical figures. This book, and author, are highly recommended for classroom learning.


Harriet Tubman by Kem Knapp Sawyer

This book gives students a first look at reading historical biographies. This book, also recommended for students ages nine through twelve, is very factual, though it includes interesting illustrations, photographs, and notes.  It includes a history of her life in slavery, but also of her incredible contributions to society after the war ended. This book is strongly recommended for students doing an assignment for their class.


Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling

 Freedom train will be loved by students of all ages, whether as a read-aloud or a solo read. Written as historical fiction story, students will become engrossed in the fascinating life led by Harriet Tubman. The story details her life as a life and discussed the conditions that she lives in her entire childhood and early adult years. While it does not focus a lot on the history of the country during this time period, it gives students a very real idea of what it would have been like to be working in the Underground Railroad. This real life story includes enough suspense to capture even reluctant readers.

 A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman by David A. Adlertubmangroupbybarnweb.jpg

This picture book is better suited for students of lower reading levels. Its beautiful illustrations in addition to short sentences detailing the important aspects of Tubman’s life give students are brief overview of the subject. Though it won’t give readers an incredibly detailed account of her life, it is perfect for students who are just beginning on the subject of slavery, and the civil war. Without overwhelming beginning readers with too many words and facts, it outlines this important historical figure’s life. Adler’s book is a great jumping off point for students.

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder (Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney)

One of my favorite books as a child, Minty is a beautiful historical fiction book about the early life of Harriet Tubman. Coupled with gorgeous watercolor paintings by Pinkney, the story gives real feeling to young Harriet’s difficult life. Young readers will be entranced by her story, as she moves from working in the house to out in the fields, and they will be fascinated by Harriet’s father’s guidance on living in the wilderness. As Harriet plans her eventual escape from slavery, students will find themselves learning about the life the slaves led nearly 200 years ago.

 Web Sources


 America’s Story from America’s Library

A kid friendly website with information and graphics about many historical figures, including Harriet Tubman. Students can read the intro with basic facts, or they can explore deeper, depending on how far the teacher wants them to research. This site is easy to use and to navigate. Its bright colors and pictures will keep students entertained and focused as they research. None of the stories are particularly long, and they use appropriate vocabulary for elementary students. This website is funded by the Library of Congress.

 Harriet Tubman Biography

 This site is recommended to fourth through sixth grade students. A sidebar offers links to a biography, time-line, photos, and other resources concerning Harriet Tubman and the history of America during her life. This site gives a very factual and detailed account of her life. One fascinating aspect is the list of some of the people who Harriet helped escape from slavery. The site gives names of the rescued slaves as well as the dates of their escapes. Students have the option of looking at a brief outline, focusing on her family life, or learning about “Tubman’s civil war.” This is perfect for a research project; it is easy to read and to navigate.


The Underground Railroad

This interactive site gives students a chance to really be connected with the plight of escaping slaves. Set up similar to a “choose your own adventure book” students are able to choose where they want to go as the escape with Harriet Tubman. Small paragraphs, accompanied by photographs and illustrations, describe each scenario to the students. At one point, they must choose to approach a house, or to hide in the woods. Later, they must choose to cross an icy river or stay back and risked being exposed to slave hunters. As they “travel,” the site describes the cities and historical figures that they meet.

Harriet Tubman Biography: TFK Challenge

This site gives a short quiz about Harriet Tubman. In eight questions, the quiz covers the basics of Harriet’s life. This quiz could be used either before teaching the unit to see where students are, or after the unit as a quiz or a study device. Students have the opportunity to retake the quiz of they don’t get all the answers; they are shown which questions were answered incorrectly, but not given the correct answer so they can go back and try again.harriet-tubman-sarah-bradford_a.jpg

Pathways to Freedom

This is another interactive site perfect for students learning about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. This site takes students through the life of Harriet Tubman before she escapes from slavery. By scrolling over certain objects in the pictures, students learn more about her family life, and gather clues that will help when they try to escape.

Teacher Resources


Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

This website can be used after students read the story Minty. This site has about 6 activities recommended to use during and after the story is read. It suggests activities such as songs, map games, and interviews. Students will love these follow up activities because the story is so fascinating.

Lesson Plan: Harriet Tubman

This link will bring you to a full lesson plan created by Bruce Helgeson for fourth and fifth grade students.  It details a mini unit for teachers, including a background, objectives, references, and assessments. Teachers might not need to use all of the activities, or they may enjoy exploring all the different ideas for their students.

Harriet Tubman: printout/quiz

 This link brings teachers to a print out and questions for students. The printout gives students a short history of Harriet Tubman, explaining why she is an important historical figure. It is followed by comprehension questions, which teachers could give as a quiz or included with the printout. This is a perfect activity for students to practice their reading and comprehension skills. It could be used as a partner project as well.

 On the Road to Freedom: Lesson Plan

 This lesson plan gives suggestions of many books to read to the class for this unit. It also suggests many discussion questions and further exploration activities for students. After reading these books (or any other preferred books) students will use critical thinking to to explore ideas such as; what was the most important event in Harriet’s life? How did she feel when she heard that slavery was abolished?



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.

Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. The Virginian was an integral part of the American Revolution (SOL VS.5b, USI.6c) and the establishment of the new American nation (SOL VS.6b). Jefferson was an advocate for liberty and his contributions can not only be seen in the aforementioned Declaration of Independence but also in the Virginia’s Statue for Religious Freedom. The resources listed below are helpful in the study of Thomas Jefferson and his contributions to our history.

 Book Resources for Teachers and Students:



Thomas Jefferson by Jacqueline Ching is great biography on the third President’s life. This book is filled with archival photographs and great facts about Thomas Jefferson to help introduce students to his life and important accomplishments. The book covers everything from Jefferson’s childhood to his involvement in the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. The pictures alone make this book a must read for students and adults studying Thomas Jefferson.



Did you know that Thomas Jefferson resigned as the governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War? Thomas Jefferson by Carol H. Behrman and Martha Cosgrove contains great facts, like the one above, about the author of the Declaration of Independence. This 112 page hardcover is a comprehensive look into Jefferson’s life, having each chapter represent a theme and time within his lifetime. Many pages contain “It’s a Fact” boxes that contain uncommonly known facts at Thomas Jefferson. This book is great supplement in the study of one of our nation’s founding fathers.



 Thomas Jefferson by Cheryl Harness, published by the National Geographic Society, highlights the many sides of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson’s life and accomplishments are highlighted in this 48 page book. Quotations are embedded in the text along side mixed-media illustrations to help promote a full understanding of our third President. A few highlights are Jefferson’s part in the Revolutionary War and his controversial use of slaves. This book is a good introduction to the author of the Declaration of Independence.



 John Adams had to push Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. The Virginian refused at first, but then went on to author one of the most important documents in our nation’s history. Who was Thomas Jefferson?  by Dennis Fradin and illustrated by John O’Brien and Nancy Harrison investigates the life of Thomas Jefferson while providing interesting facts like the one above. The author does a great job covering Jefferson’s life, both personal and public. The book also provides a side-by-side time-line of Thomas Jefferson’s life and world history events of the time. Who was Thomas Jefferson is a great resource of information on the famous Virginian. 



 Thomas Jefferson: A Life of Patriotism by Ann-Marie Kishel is a great introduction for students on the life of Thomas Jefferson. Each page as an appropriate amount of text was well as good pictures to help in the understanding of Jefferson and his accomplishments. The author touches on the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, and Jefferson’s Presidency and includes a important index of main concepts.This book would be great for independent reading and exploration of Thomas Jefferson.


Website Resources for Students:

Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence 

This website is a great resource for students studying Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolution. The website is broken up into sections relating to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolution. Sections are devoted to such aspects as the Graff House where Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson’s Constitution for the State of Virginia. Pictures and fast facts are provided in each section. The text may be slightly advanced but with teacher guidance this website can be a great resource of students .

A Day in the Life of Thomas Jefferson 

This site provides a great look into a typical day for Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. Pictures of Monticello as well as pictures of some of Jefferson’s personal items such as his “traveling calculator” accompany information about Jefferson’s daily life. This website is great for independent discoveries as well as guided instruction.

Thomas Jefferson

 This website offers fun facts about our third President in a colorful, easy to read format. Facts include what pets Jefferson had as well as a list of all the offices Jefferson held. This site would be great for a fact hunt for students.

 Liberty Archive: Thomas Jefferson

The Liberty Archive: Thomas Jefferson is a kid-friendly site that provides quick, interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson. The site is colorful and has a fun feel to it. There are also links to John Adams and the Declaration of Independence. The site provides information on how Jefferson and Adams disagreed as to who would write the Declaration and why it was decided on Jefferson as the author.

 Thomas Jefferson: Student Encyclopedia

This site is a great information on Thomas Jefferson, his life, and his accomplishments (both public and private). The sight delivers small paragraphs of information at a time by letting the student push the next button when ready for the next paragraph of information. The information is segmented into themes of Jefferson’s life.

Additional Teacher Resources:

Thomas Jefferson

This educational website provides information on Thomas Jefferson as well as a list of resources. These resources include a Thomas Jefferson word scramble, a Jefferson worksheet, and Jefferson crossword puzzle. The last resource is a printable Thomas Jefferson multiple choice test.

Image Gallery: Thomas Jefferson

This Monticello in the Classroom website offers a range of images pertaining to Thomas Jefferson, his works, and Monticello.  Each image, once clicked on, has a description and facts underneath. An example of an image in this gallery is the original copy of the Declaration of Independence.

 Thomas Jefferson

This website, from the Us History site, includes great information on Thomas Jefferson as well as offers lesson plans and primary resources.  Each link to either the lesson plans or the primary resources have annotations that provide an overview of each link.

 President Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson is explored through activities, lesson plans, and games in the great website for instructors. The site includes Jefferson coloring pages, a Jefferson time-line, as well as a Thomas Jefferson interactive word-find. This is site is a great place for teachers to get some ideas when teaching about our third President.

 PBS-Thomas Jefferson

This is a great educational website when studying Thomas Jefferson. The information may be a little advanced for elementary students, but for teachers this is an invaluable site. The site includes a link to teaching tips on Jefferson as well as student study sheets.

Robert E. Lee


This blog provides teachers with a wealth of resources to draw from as they delve into the strategic brilliance and leadership of Robert E. Leea pivotal player in the Civil war. Children come face to face with E. Lee as they tackle the Civil War component of SOL USI.9d). As you journey through the realm of information that this website has to offer open your minds to the endless opportunities that you as a teacher have in teaching this content to your children in an exciting and fun way. Gone are the days where history has to be boring. It is all about how you present the information to your children.

Text Annotations

The Picture Book of Robert E. Lee by David Adler 51sqe0vmpal_sl500_aa300_.jpg

Through the use of great pictures this book presents the stories of war along with numerous quotes that will help its readers understand our history. It explains the Civil War so that it is easy for the kids to understand. Alder did a wonderful job of displaying the war and allowing children to understand the concept on a very neutral level while also outlining his life. In doing this he helps children really visualize the order of events.

Robert E. Lee: Brave Leader by Rae Bains 51b7wc6n1kl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa300_sh20_ou01_.jpg

This book traces the life of the highly respected Confederate general, with an emphasis on his difficult boyhood in Virginia. It presents the content in an interesting manner and encourages its readers to love history.

Promise Quilt by Candace Ransom 51st6dm25yl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa300_sh20_ou01_.jpg

This picture book is told from the point of view of a Virginia girl, Addie, during the Civil War. When her father leaves the family farm to be General Robert E. Lee’s guide, Addie finds ways to remember him–even when he does not return at the end of the war. The author’s note describes the issues of slavery and states’ rights that divided the northern and southern states and that led to the war.

Robert E. Lee, young Confederate (Childhood of famous Americans) by Helen Albee Monsell  books.jpeg

These classics have been praised by adults, parents and teachers alike. They bring the biography of Robert E. Lee to life in an inspiring, believing way, sweeping young children right into history.

Robert E. Lee: Southern Hero of the Civil War by Mona Kerby 9780894907821.gif

This biography describes the life of the famous Confederate general who fought for Virginia during the the Civil War. It provides children with all the information they need to know about this figure in a clear and concise manner.

Web Annotations

  1. Seize the Night– Is a website that provides background information on Robert E. Lee, and describes his accomplishments and ventures as a leader. It doesn't just provide information of Lee's leadership but the conspiracy theories of other leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and J.F. Kennedy as well as a wealth of information on other military leaders allowing discussions to be sparked on how Robert E. Lee's accomplishments compare to other  well renown military leaders.
  2. Video on Robert E.Lee– This video walks you through Robert E. Lee’s journey as a confederate. These are facts that our children need to know and so by displaying them in a visual and auditory context it helps children learn their history in a more exciting way.
  3. Powerpoint tutorials– This website walks children through the "how to" of creating a powerpoint. The idea behind this website is that you get your children to make their own powerpoint on the information that they have learned about Robert E. Lee in a learning style that helped them learn the content.
  4. Games– This website provides teachers with a variety of games that they can use to incorporate the information on Robert E. Lee. Learning history doesn't have to be boring when you can provide your children with all these games to play. Encourage them to create their own game to learn the content.
  5. Jeapardy game– By clicking on the icon, Government and Civil War, you will be taken to a jeopardy game that encompasses many social studies questions on a variety of topics including questions on Robert E. Lee. It is a fun way to test your children’s knowledge after the unit.

Additional Resources for teachers

  1. DVD on Robert E. Lee– Another way to make sure that your children are retaining information about important players in the civil war. This dvd could serve as a refresher after a lesson on Robert E. Lee and his role in the war. The biography traces the life and accomplishments of U.S. Civil War general Robert E. Lee – the son of Revolutionary War hero “Light Horse” Lee — who led the ailing Confederacy through a lengthy period of survival long after its last resources were seemingly tapped.
  2. Arlington National Cemetery– The Arlington National Cemetery if close to your school could be an excellent place to take your children for a field trip. The estate has a fascinating history that is tied to the families of George Washington, Robert E. Lee and events of the Civil War. But even if you cannot personally attend this site with your children you can point them in the direction of this website allowing them to explore their own history in a fun and interactive way.
  3. NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive– Provides archive information that were attached to Robert E. Lee's Confederate career.
  4. Robert E. Lee– provides a wealth of information from powerpoint presentations, to lesson plans and online games to help children interact with their confederate forefather in an interesting and fun way.
  5. Lesson plan– A well planned lesson that introduces Robert E. Lee and the pivotal role he played in the confederate war.
  6. Thinkquest– It provides a timeline, an all about Lee and Letters by Lee. It presents a wealth of information in a structured way for children to share with their friends.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek civilization is an exciting and intriguing part of our history. The Ancient Greeks made many contributions to society from government and sports to architecture and literature. While students will never get to experience first hand the customs and cultures of Ancient Greece, books and activities can better help students to understand the way of life in Ancient Greece. The following books and resources can help deepen a student’s knowledge about Ancient Greece from the city-states to mythology. The books and resources are intended to be used in a 3rd grade classroom (SOL 3.1).

Text annotation:

Adventures in Ancient Greece by Linda Bailey


In Adventures in Ancient Greece, the Binkerton children are taken back in time to Ancient Greece during the Olympics. The reader journeys through the city-states of Ancient Greece with the Binkerton’s as they learn all about Ancient Greek customs, religions and culture. The story is full of facts and excitement as the reader follows the Binkerton’s and learn about Ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece by Anne Pearson


The illustrations in this book will grab everyone’s attention. The book also covers the history, people, customs, religion, recreation and warfare of the Ancient Greeks. The illustrations add to the facts listed in this book for a better visual understanding of the Ancient Greek way of life.

If I Were a Kid in Ancient Greece: Children of the Ancient World by Cobblestone Publishing


This book delves into the lifestyle of children in Ancient Greece from house rules to pets. The books investigates what tools, activities and customs children would have to follow if they lived in Ancient Greece.

The Ancient Greeks (People of the Ancient World) by Allison Lassieur


This book is organized differently from all other history books, instead of looking at the Ancient Greek civilization chronologically like most books, this book looks at Ancient Greece by sociological strata. The book starts at the top of Greek society with the people of the government and then delves all the way down to slaves and workers. This gives the students a good look into how life in Ancient Greece was for each level of society and how the cultures and customs worked.

Pandora of Athens; 399 B.C. by Barry Denenberg


In Pandora of Athens; 399 B.C., the reader is taken back to Ancient Greek society where they follow Pandora a young Greek girl as she fights the roles society and her father have laid out for her. The book while make-believe helps students see the reality of life in Ancient Greece. The story is very well written and will capture students’ attention from beginning to end.

Recommended Websites for Students:

The History for Kids website has tons of information for students about Ancient Greece. Students can learn about a wide range of subjects from clothing and literature to mythology and economy.

The Winged Sandals website is a great website for students. The website offers students “plays” to watch about Greek mythology, games to play, history pages, who’s who among the Grecians and instructions to make crafts.

Adventures in Ancient Greece website is an interactive website which offers students a chance to click around and learn more information and play games while learning about Ancient Greece. At the end the students are able to take three quizzes that test them on their knowledge they learned and opens new activities.

The BBC website offers students the chance to click through and learn more about Ancient Greece, from customs and gods to architecture and wars. The site also has quizzes under each subsection as well as a Greek Hero Game for the students to play.

The Odyssey Greece website is an interactive website in which students are taken back to Ancient Greece. The site lets students click through to learn more about Ancient Greece. Students can learn about chewing gum or constellations and even cities’ names in the U.S. whose origins date back to the Ancient Greek empire.

Additional Teacher Resources

Ancient History website has many links for teachers. The links all offer different kinds of resources from lesson plans and activities to PowerPoint and video clips for the classroom.

Ancient Greece This website is a great resource for teachers, it has a lot of in-depth information about art and architecture, history, wars, people and mythology. The website also includes a photo gallery to offer teachers even more information about Ancient Greece.

Scholastic’s Ancient Greece website offers numerous ideas for teachers on how to teach Ancient Greece to students. The website gives lots of ideas for creative craft ideas to keep students interested while learning about the ancient civilization.

BBC teacher’s website about Ancient Greece goes along with the student resource version. The teacher website has complied lesson plans, tours, time-lines, games, craft ideas and FAQ’s about Ancient Greece to help students further explore the ancient civilization.

Carving Out a Name for Himself

George Washington Carver made a name for himself with peanuts. He is world-reknowned for having beaten the odds€”as an African-American in the post Civil War era in America in the late 1800s€”to become a scientist and successful inventor. He was director of agriculture at the prestigious Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama and is credited with creating not only 300 uses of the peanut, but also medicines, soaps, buttermilk, ink, shaving cream, and instant coffee, to name just a few. The following books, websites, and resources cover VA SOL 1.5.

Books on George Washington Carver

   George Washington Carver

Written as a Buddy Books First Biography, George Washington Carver by Rebecca Gomez, is chocked full of information for the budding reader. With 29 pages broken down into 8 chapters, this book captures the salient facts on Mr. Carver’s life and accomplishments in easy-to-read prose.

 Great African Americans

George Washington Carver: The Peanut Scientist, one book in a series written about Great African Americans, was written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack.  This book would best be used by a first grade teacher to introduce the subject of Mr. Carver. It is filled with wonderful black and white photographs of Mr. Carver, depicting him in his various endeavors, that provide good primary resources for examing his life and times.  This book also has the requisite timeline and glossary for young readers if used in a group research activity.

Ingenious Inventor 

Written by Nathan Olson and illustrated by Keith Tucker, George Washington Carver, Ingenious Inventor is a graphic novel depicting the life and times of Mr. Carver. In a clear and visually appealing way, this book sets itself apart from other biographies by its use of first person dialogue and the use of comic book style illustrations. I highly recommend this book to grab the attention of reluctant readers.

 The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America

The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science & Invention in America was written and illustrated by Cheryl Harnass. The original pen and ink block prints and running timeline along the bottom of every page make this book an excellent resource for teachers. Excerpts can be shared with students as the level of detail in this book is much deeper than in the young reader selections.

A Picture Book of George Washington Carver

Written by David Adler and illustrated by Dan Brown, A Picture Book of George Washington Carver is more than just a picture book. Watercolors depict Mr. Carver’s life and the author cites Mr. Carver’s own words on several occasions. This book is a brief introduction to Mr. Carver’s life and accomplishments.

Websites about George Washington Carver


Excellent resource for quick information on Mr. Carver. This website shows some his artwork and how he used it to teach farmers about pests. It also has some background information on The Jesup Wagon, a rolling teaching cart, that Mr. Carver designed was filled “with soil samples, farm equipment, recipes, plants, and anything else that could have been used as a teaching tool”.


Large type, a well-written first grade script, and an uncluttered page make this website a good choice for first graders studying Mr. Carver. It includes links to discover Mr. Carver’s achievements, like one of the educational booklets he wrote, Help for the Hard Times. At the bottom of each webpage, there is a thought-provoking question for students to consider before clicking to read more (e.g., “What other ways could farmers make money?”).

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This website features an online game called Quia. It is available through subscription, but as one of its complimentary games, there is an excellent, trial version of a Who Wants to be a Millionaire-type gameshow featuring questions about Mr. Carver. Not only does this site provide the question-answer game, but it also provides background and facts about Mr. Carver as well.


Everyone keeps talking about all those uses of the peanut that Mr. Carver discovered, so what are they? This website lists the 105 recipes of Mr. Carver’s from his How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption publication in 1940.


A&E Biography showcases Mr. Carver in a mini-bio. There is a brief history of his life along with a very well-produced (A&E-style) mini-biographical video. Many parts of the video would be entertaining for a young crowd, however it does reveal a striking image of a hooded figure wrapped in a noose when describing a lynching that Mr. Carver witnessed in his early years.

Additional Resources for Studying George Washington Carver



From, this bio-cube is a fun way to help remember the facts about historical figures. Older students will enjoy typing the information online where younger first graders would benefit from a blank printout and entering the information manually. The software asks students to report a notable quote, personality of the individual, pertinent facts, and his/her significance to society. Once the information is entered, the worksheet can be cutout and made into a 3-D foldable of a cube.


Video has a short video with a brief history of Mr. Carver’s life. The video shows rare footage of Dr. Carver receiving an award at the age of 80 in 1941. Students will get a sense of Mr. Carver’s humble nature and hear how his throat was ravaged by whooping cough in his youth leaving him with a high-pitched voice.

Teach the Children

George Washington Carver Song

George Washington Carver Song

From the album, Teach The Children, Medicine Man Ya Ya sings an upbeat song about ‘The Peanut Man’. Playing this little ditty in the classroom, while completing your art activity during your George Washington Carver lesson plan, will surely help kids remember Mr. Carver and the contributions he made to science and society. Click on George Washington Carver Song to hear a 30 second introduction to the song. In addition to the Mr. Carver song, Teach the Children, also features songs about Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.

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Coloring Pages

The USDA has a great collection of worksheet activities perfect for ‘morning work’. Among the handouts depicting Mr. Carver himself are the anatomy of a peanut plant (Science SOLs!), a dot-to-dot peanut, food pyramids, and cross-word puzzles for older students.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a national holiday that recognizes and honors men and women who have served to protect America and its freedom.  Students in the third grade will learn the significance of this day and the implications of having a republican or representative form of government that work to uphold the peoples’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The following teacher and student resources can be used to support lessons for Veterans Day or VA SOL 3.11.

Books and Literature

The Veterans Day Visitor

This heartfelt and moving story about Veterans Day is told through the lens of Emily’s Pop-Pop who volunteers to speak to her class about this important holiday.

America's White Table

Through the symbolic white table, Katie begins to understand the depths of the sacrifice that her uncle made in the Armed Forces.

H is for Honor

This book gives you a glimpse of all the military branches and military life as it takes you through the alphabet.  This book will not only teach students about veterans day and those who serve in the military, but can also be used to help students in their writing.

The Impossible Patriotism Project

The Impossible Patriotism Project helps readers and listeners capture the meaning of patriotism.  It helps students to see who the real patriots are as we are taken through Caleb’s struggles in finding meaning in his father’s absence.

Pepper's Purple Heart

Pepper’s Purple Heart is about a dog who gets hit by a car while his owner and best friend are playing a game.  Claire’s neighbor takes care of Pepper and gives him the purple heart that he received as a Marine in the Vietnam War.  This fun and informative book will help students understand Veterans Day.

Student Resources

Fun Facts-This site offers cool facts on veterans.

Games and Activities– This site offers games and activities for students.

Trivia– Students can test their knowledge of Veterans Day through interactive puzzles and quizzes.

Research tools– This site provides links to games, coloring pages, and background information for students to explore.

Newsarticle– This is a online news article on Veterans Day for students.

Teacher Resources

History and Background– This site provides the history and background of Veterans Day for teachers.

Lesson Plans– Teachers can find lesson ideas and examples of lesson plans for Veterans Day.

Teacher’s Guide– This link provides you with a complete and comprehensive guide to facts and activities for Veterans Day.

Poster Gallery–  Teacher’s can use this site to encourage students to create Veterans Day posters.

Worksheets–  Teachers can find free worksheets and activity pages for students.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736. He was a huge part of America's struggle from British rule to self-government.Patrick Henry was a lawyer, patriot, orator, and helped form every aspect of  founding of America. His most notable attribute was his speech in which he said, "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Books For Children


Written by Jesse Jarnow

This book features six chapters on Patrick Henry. It gives a brief overview of his life and gives a very detailed account of his Liberty speech.  I like that the book features a glossary and an index for children to use.


Written by David A. Adler and Illustrated by John and Alexandra Wallner

This book would appeal to younger readers. I liked the way that it told the story of Patrick Henry, but was illustrated in a cartoon like way. The pictures are very detailed and children would truly enjoy the artwork. There was an easy to follow timeline in the back of the book that the children would find helpful.


Written by Stuart Kallen

This book was by far the best for children because it was broken into many small parts. It would be a great resource for children who are writing a book report or just need a little more knowledge about Patrick Henry.


Written by Ann Heinrichs

This is a great resource for children. This book contains actual pictures of important documents like, The Constitution, and The Virginia and Kentucky Resolution.  This book also shows how Patrick Henry’s contributions directly helped

Patrick Henry

Written and Illustrated by Rod Espinosa

Espinosa takes a spin  on telling history. He tells Patrick Henry’s story by using a comic strip making Patrick Henry into a real0life super hero. I enjoyed his fun take on telling the story. I also liked that he included a map of the territories, timeline, and further reading sections in the back of the book.

Web Sites For Children

Liberty Kids

This site has a short biography of Patrick Henry and has some Revolutionary Games as well.

Listen to Patrick Henry’s Speech

Richard Schumann interprets the character of Patrick Henry for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Listen as he re-creates Patrick Henry’s powerful words spoken March 23, 1775 at St. John’s Henrico Parish Church in Richmond.

Color Mr. Henry

This page takes children to an interactive coloring page.


This timeline outlines important dates during the Revolutionary War.

Revolutionary War

This page explains how the war got started and what Patrick Henry’s contributions were.

Resources For Teachers

American Revolution

Liberty Speech

Lesson Plan: Essay

Patrick Henry

Ancient Egypt

This post discusses resources for the second grade Virginia SOL 2.1. In this unit, students learn about the contributions that ancient Egypt has made to the modern world. Specifically, students study how Egypt helped to develop, and influenced, writing, architecture and a few inventions like paper, the 365 day calendar, and the clock. The following books, websites and extra resources are designed to fit this second grade curriculum, but are varied in difficulty so that they can be differentiated for many different levels of students.



I Wonder Why the Pyramids Were Built: And Other Questions About Ancient Egypt

By Miranda Smith

I Wonder Why the Pyramids Were Built: And Other Questions About Ancient Egypt is a useful resources as an introduction to ancient Egypt as it gives a general overview about the lives and practices of ancient Egyptians. It provides child friendly explanations about tricky subjects like embalmment and mummification while still being an overall funny and entertaining book because of the many “ancient Egypt” jokes. Enjoyable illustrations accompany the text so that students can see what typical Egyptians looked like, and how the landscape and architecture of the time appeared.






The Egyptian Cinderella

By Shirley Climo and illustrated by Ruth Heller

The Egyptian Cinderella tells the familiar Cinderella story with an ancient Egyptian twist. In this version, the Greek slave girl, Rhodopis, is saved from her plight by marrying the Pharaoh, with a little help from the Egyptian god Horus. Students will enjoy this story because they can relate it to what they already know about Cinderella and can compare the similarities and differences between the traditional fairy tale and this Egyptian version. While still being entertaining, this Cinderella story manages to inform students about every day Egyptian life, from the existence and roles of slaves and pharaohs to Egyptian mythology and religion.





Egyptian Life

By Miriam Stead

This book is an excellent classroom resource because it provides examples and descriptions of ancient Egyptian life based upon artifacts currently found in the British Museum. Therefore, this book is different from most books on ancient Egypt because it shows real photographs of real Egyptian objects. Egyptian Life discusses many aspects of the everyday ancient Egyptian experience such as food, family, society, clothing and religion. In this way, this book is a good starting point for students’ comparisons of their modern lives to the lives of ancient Egyptians.







Hieroglyphs from A to Z

By Peter Manuelian

Hieroglyphs from A to Z is similar to the traditional alphabet books, where each letter is given a page and a sentence using a word that begins with that letter, yet it is different in that the letters are also represented in Egyptian hieroglyphs and the sentences are about Egyptian topics. This book serves as a good introduction to the study of hieroglyphics because it provides a comparison between the letters that students are used to, and their ancient Egyptian counterparts. This book presents the ancient Egyptian writing system in an easy to understand format, and also shares a few facts about Egyptian life and mythology.





Ancient Egypt

By George Hart

Ancient Egypt, from the Eyewitness book series, is a virtual encyclopedia of Egyptian knowledge geared towards elementary aged students. This book combines illustrations, photographs and diagrams to explain tricky and interesting subjects like, what the inside of a pyramid looks like, why the ancient Egyptians dressed the way they do, and how the ancient Egyptians made paper. This book may use some vocabulary that is beyond the second grade level, so it may need to be used as a teacher-guided resource or as a tool for differentiation but it provides an expanse of knowledge on practically any topic that you can think of when it comes to ancient Egypt.


Mr. Ancient Egypt

This site, geared at upper elementary school students, explains topics like the gift of the Nile, the land of the dead, the pharaoh, the Rosetta Stone and Cleopatra. It provides detailed maps and clear explanations of why each of these topics is so important to any study of ancient Egypt. The wording might be a little hard for some second graders to understand, and the site is mostly text-based, so this would be a great site for a teacher-led Webquest or class activity where the teacher could guide students’ reading.

Kids Konnect Ancient Egypt

This site would be a wonderful resource for any class studying ancient Egypt since it provides a wealth of information about everything and anything Egypt related. It provides links to information on hieroglyphics, gods, mummies, the Nile, pharaohs, pyramids, Egyptian literature, art, history and more. Teachers and students could use this site to find anything that they might want to know about ancient Egypt, but again, this site may be difficult for second graders to navigate, because it is so expansive, so if students use this resource it should be guided by the teacher.

The British Museum-Ancient Egypt

This website is published by the British Museum’s Egyptology Department but is intended for an elementary audience. It has information about Egyptian life, geography, gods and goddesses, mummification, pharaohs, pyramids, time, trades and writing. This site would be especially useful in light of the SOL because of its explanations about the development of the clock and writing. Each topic contains a story and an exploration link, for example, in the temple section students can “explore” the inside of a temple. This site is easy to navigate so students could traverse it by themselves.

A to Z Kids Stuff- Ancient Egypt

This website acts as an introduction to the history and contributions of ancient Egypt. It discusses the different Egyptian kingdoms and their time periods, as well as Egyptian inventions and some brief information about prominent pharaohs. At the bottom of the page are listed fun activities that students could do to help them learn about ancient Egypt. Since this site is only one page long it would be an easy way for students to learn about ancient Egypt on their own.

 Children’s University of Manchester- Ancient Egypt

This website is produced by the University of Manchester as a child’s guide to ancient Egypt. It provides interactive activities that students can do online, like, explore ancient Egypt, Giza pyramid panorama, the Egyptian number system, writing in hieroglyphics, make a mummy and more. These activities have easy to understand directions and are fun ways to explain topics about ancient Egypt.

Other Resources

Why did the Egyptians build the tombs and pyramids? Movie

This movie, presented by BBC Learning Zone Class Clips, shows footage of the pyramids in Egypt and explains why the ancient Egyptians first began to develop the pyramids. It explains the different types of pyramids, which pharaohs preferred which type of pyramid and how Egyptians used the natural resources available to them to design and create the pyramids.

Southlands Elementary Ancient Egypt WebQuest

This WebQuest, produced by Southlands Elementary School, takes students on an internet tour of ancient Egypt to learn about topics like daily life, the sphinx, the Egyptian calendar, hieroglyphics, the pharaohs, the pyramids, the Rosetta Stone and mummification. This WebQuest would be a great review of a unit on Ancient Egypt; it uses clear directions and simple links to keep students from being confused or overwhelmed. The other unique thing about this WebQuest is that it asks students to develop their higher-level thinking by asking questions like “write down some differences between poor and rich Egyptians”, rather than simply asking all explicit questions.





The Ancient Egypt Pack: A Three Dimensional Celebration of Egyptian Mythology, Culture, Art, Life and Afterlife

By Christos Kondeatis

This book combines pull out activities and pop-up diagrams to explain the mysteries of ancient Egypt. There are board games, pop-up pyramids, an ancient Egyptian mask and many more interactive and tactile activities to keep students entertained while they are learning. This pack would be a great way to introduce students to a unit on ancient Egypt, or for use as a center activity, or just as something for the class to read together. It provides a lot of information in a very fun package.



Pyramids: 50 Hands on Activities to Experience Ancient Egypt

By Avery Hart

This book provides educators with many different activities for students to learn about ancient Egypt. There are activities about making mummies, designing Egyptian clothes, discovering what the ancient Egyptians ate, playing Egyptian games like tug of war, and more. This book encourages students to “think like Egyptians”, so they should complete the activities using resources and materials that the ancient Egyptians would have had, which adds a unique twist to simple games and projects. These activities are not just for fun, however, they are very educational and include a lot of factual information that students must understand in order to complete the activities, which makes for an excellent resource for both students and teachers alike.