BLOGS  >  AUGUST 4, 2021

Election Year Read-Alouds


In a year of a presidential election, there is little chance that students have not heard about it. Whether it be on the news, radio, television commercials, magazines or newspapers, from families, in school, or digital methods, political ads and information surround us. And in this particular year, the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave (some) women the right to vote, it is even more prevalent.

A presidential election year offers real-time opportunities to integrate social studies lessons into read-alouds that tie into standards around the legislative and executive branches in the United States. With #ClassroomBookADay there is a daily opportunity to incorporate joyful, authentic read-alouds, and also a daily chance to deepen understanding with picture books that tie into current events and lessons/standards. By doing so in a read-aloud that brings the classroom community together, it leads to more engagement from students and shows those lesson concepts in a different way for them to grasp onto.

For this month’s list, in this landmark election year, I chose books that can tie into concepts around voting, elections, and United States presidents. There are books that take a more fun parallel to elections and presidents – with jungles, some farm animals, and even a squid! There are books that focus on how the process of voting works. There are other books that look directly at the history of our presidents, access to them, or even meeting them. And there are even some that hold elections of their own. Importantly, there are also books that look at the history of what voting rights advocates went through to gain the right to vote in this country – because it hasn’t always been a right that every person in this country has had. And by choosing these books, in particular, we can move past the whitewashed, glossy version of the history of this country that is often shared in schools into the more accurate, honest portrayal of the fights numerous groups, beyond white men, had after the founding of this country.

Share these books, and the various angles of looking at elections, voting, and the presidency, to help engage students and connect to what will be at the forefront of the country’s mind on November 3.

View the full list on Titlewave

Jillian Heise

Jillian Heise, NBCT and MLIS, is currently a K-5 Library Media Teacher in southeastern Wisconsin. She previously taught Grades 7 and 8 ELA in the Milwaukee area for 11 years. Jillian is the founder of #ClassroomBookADay and dedicated to supporting all student identities and lived experiences through access to inclusive literature. She brings her literacy expertise and knowledge of kidlit to her role as Chair of the USRA Children's Literature Committee. You can find Jillian online at Heise Reads & Recommends and @heisereads.

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