Why is children's literature a key component in Social Studies reading instruction?
If social studies, or social sciences, is defined as "a general label applied to the study of society and human relationships," the advantages in the use of children's literature to support that study becomes obvious. Particularly if one is teaching youngsters, opportunities to have had direct exposure or experience with other parts of the world, with other ways of life, with historic locations and events, and with other circumstances different from the learner's own perspective are probably limited. The use of well-written children's literature allows for exposure to people and places and ideas that may enrich the studies and knowledge base of the students involved. The use of The Little House books, for example, has given numerous students insight into what life was like for settlers in various areas of the expanding American West.