I have three great books for you that are easy reads and that give you insight into our country's history. They are three very different books, but ones that can be used to teach a variety of subjects from history to music!
We the People: The Story of Our Constitution by Lynne Cheney
Time Period: Early America
Subjects addressed: formation of the Constitution
This is a wonderful book full of fantastic illustrations which depict the time in our Nations history when our Founding Fathers were creating the document which formed our nation. There are many parts of history that we are taught in our schools, but having it written in a way that just gives us the essentials along with quotes from the Founding Father's and visuals helps it all come to life. Great book to use in any history class!
White Water by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein
Time Period: Segregation
Subjects addressed: racism, inequality
I learn from my students every day and one of the reasons is that we have a different outlook on most things. This book shows how the concept of racism is something that (as Bill Cosby says) is a waste of time.This book also shows that sometimes just by getting a new perspective or outlook on the same situation, we can find more meaning in our lives and move past things which consume us every day. I love this book and will definitely be reading it to my classes next year.
Jazz by Walter Dean Myers
Time Period: 1800s- today
Subjects addressed: Jazz music, instruments, poetry, musicians
It is no secret that I am a Walter Dean Myers fan. When I met him a few years ago I literally almost passed out. He is a gentle giant. This book is full of wonderful information in poetic form that any Language Arts or Music teacher can appreciate. The beautiful art work that Christopher Myers (Walter's son) has created adds to the authenticity of this amazing book. There is a wonderful glossary of terms as well as a timeline in the back for you to use as resources as well. Jazz is just one type of music and through this book you are able to learn about and celebrate the different styles of Jazz though Meyers' poetry and his sons art!