New Standards-Based Lessons for the Busy Elementary School Librarian: Social Studies

Libraries Unlimited. Feb. 2020. 168p. pap. $45. ISBN 9781440872242.
Keeling’s newest book focuses on incorporating AASL’s Standards Framework for Learners, Common Core English Language Literacy Standards, and the Social Studies Standards C3 Framework into lessons on civics, economics, geography, and history. Lesson plans include learning objectives, instructional procedure (the same throughout, suggesting “paired or team work” but without specifying strategies), a worksheet, and recommended resources. Frequently, the lessons begin with the reading and discussion of a work of fiction. The worksheets feature rudimentary clip art illustrations and often focus on low level skills. A few ask students to apply their knowledge or engage in an activity such debating as loyalists or patriots, but those are the exceptions. Some activities are puzzling (such as a lesson about inventors that includes only white men), and many maps are incomplete. Each lesson contains a lengthy list of fiction and nonfiction resources; within the resources, there can be a wide range of reading levels, and some sites and books are no longer available. While the author claims that the time line for the lessons is about 20 minutes, most cannot be completed in that time frame. The lesson plans share a consistent format and are well organized, providing activities and easily sourced materials that can be used in a collaborative teaching model or by the school librarian to support the classroom’s social studies lessons. Curating the standards from the three areas is a welcome time saver for librarians; however, they’ll want to modify most lessons to include formative assessment, differentiation, and critical thinking activities.
VERDICT Recommended for beginning librarians or those needing suggestions on incorporating social studies standards in library lessons.

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