Wow..that's a really big class. You're going to have your hands full:-)In my class I always started and ended with geography. We did a lot of geography review at the end because they forget everything...longitude and latitude, states on the map, etc. If you like to use Skype, Classroom 2.0 is a great place to find contacts for linking your kids with other classrooms. Last year, my kids skyped with Thailand, Australia, Spain, Chicago, and North Carolina. Great for geography!
For content, here are the novels that I used:
Across Five Aprils (Civil War)-This is a hard novel. If you have a low class it may be too difficult.
Out of the Dust (Great Depression)-Love this one...
Number the Stars (WWII)-This is my favorite and I have lots of unit plans that go along with this novel. They also do projects with this book.
Night (Holocaust)-I have read this and bought a class set to use, but did not get to it last year.
Watson's Go to Birmingham (Civil Rights Movement) Funny and very relevant. Most of my kids say this was their favorite all year.
I always read the novels with the particular unit in Social Studies and it really boosted the kids understanding of the content and put it into perspective. In between content, I'd read fun novels like:
There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom-Acceptance of other kids who are different, but funny.
Bridge to Terabithia
You can always bring in social skills and community with these novels. I have class sets of all these books and I always read the books aloud while they follow along. I have some on tape, but they do better with me reading and stopping for comprehension checks. I'll be happy to help anywhere you need it....just let me know!
Hi Judy! Just looking around Classroom 2.0 for some fellow TN teachers and came across your page. I just left my fifth grade classroom position this year for a data position. I taught reading/language arts and social studies also!:-) There are so many great novels to integrate into the social studies curriculum. To me there's no better subjects to teach. I miss it sooo much! Hope you're having a great year.