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Using Relevant Children’s Literature in the Elementary Social Studies Classroom

a remote learning experience discussing how democracy is threatened and how educators protect democracy
March 10, 2020 - 7:00pm EDT

Children’s literature can play a powerful role in young children’s lives to learn, inspire and transform. The images and words convey a compelling story and message that has the potential to leave lasting impressions. In recent years, there’s been an explosion of children’s books that go beyond social and emotional learning. Books for young children about historical topics like enslavement, the Holocaust, Japanese-American internment, voting rights, segregation, and genocide are presenting them with both sensitivity and insight. When it comes to current event topics there are many excellent books about immigration and the refugee crisis, racial justice, transgender rights, marriage equality and activism among others. These books can be used to kick off a social studies unit, provide the groundwork for both historical and literary analysis, and identify questions for further research.


Jinnie Spiegler, Director of Curriculum and Training, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), New York, NY
Jinnie has worked for over 20 years in the field of K-12 education and with ADL specifically since 2013. In her capaciy, she is responsible for the oversight and creation of curricula and training efforts in anti-bias education and bullying prevention. Additionally, Jinnie writes other online education tools and resources, presents at national conferences, writes articles and blogs for ADL and other external publications, oversees the civics education project and serves as an advisor to MTV’s Look Different campaign and the Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels campaigns. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and daughter.


Sherasa Thomas, Education Director, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Dallas, TX
Sherasa is the Education Director for the ADL in Texas/Oklahoma. In her role she oversees all the antibias and anti-bullying training programs, builds community relationships and partners with educators to build equity into their school culture. Before coming to ADL, she has served as Education Director for an international nonprofit, public school administrator and as a classroom teacher. She lives in Dallas with her husband, where much of her “leisure time” is spent reading, baking, binging home improvement shows and adjusting to the kids being in college.


Webinar Fee: $25 NCSS members / $50 nonmembers