In the first article in this issue, “Why are People Marching? Discussing Justice- Oriented Citizenship using Picture Books,” Jessica Ferreras-Stone and Sara B. Demoiny outline how teachers, in accordance with NCSS guidelines, can use picture books to spur discussions about justice-oriented citizenship, including protest marches, as a means to understand the past and present.
William Toledo and Jody Hollins present key concepts related to civic perspective- taking in their piece, “Localizing Civics: A Collaboratively Designed, Second Grade Unit of Study.” The authors’ hope is that their work will help elementary teachers teach about this important topic. They provide tips and ideas for teaching this content that emerged from their teaching and research.
In “Culture Calle: Celebrating Heritage, Diversity, and Dreams in Bilingual Classrooms,” Ariel Cornett, Isabel Vargas, Caitlin Hobgood, Allison McNamara, and Stephanie van Hover describe how the use of children’s literature can support student learning in social studies about culture and famous American contributions. They identify specific activities that helped elementary students build background knowledge and make connections in regards to their familial and personal identities. The same authors created the four-page Pullout for this issue, with handouts for a culture calle, as a complement to the article.
Judy Lindquist details a unit used to teach elementary school students about the civil rights movement, in “Teaching the Civil Rights Movement through the Eyes of Young Participants.” She outlines an approach to using a variety of documents, texts, and close reading strategies, in a literacy-rich way, to bring life to history. In “Mindfulness: Promoting Peace in a Kindergarten Classroom,” Sarah E. Montgomery, Maya Van Driel, and Kim Vandendriessche explore the intersection between mindfulness and social studies education. Detailed examples from a kindergarten social studies unit on mindfulness are provided, including breathing techniques, and children’s literature.