Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 2010
Building Effective Citizens through 2009 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Picture Books
Kay A. Chick
Penn State University, Altoona
Citizens in our democracy need a skill set that enables them to take action to help others, challenge bias and prejudice, and demonstrate patriotism. This article considers these skills and the role of children’s literature in the development of citizenship education in social studies classrooms. Citizenship education must incorporate powerful learning that is meaningful, value-based, challenging, and integrated within the arts, sciences, and humanities. The 2009 National Council for the Social Studies Notable picture books that are featured here bring powerful learning opportunities and prepare students to become effective, socially responsible citizens. The instructional strategies that accompany each book encourage social action, critical thinking, and conscientious decision-making, and are easily integrated within the language arts.
Key words: children’s literature, citizenship, language arts, National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books, patriotism, social action