Civics in the Classroom

Election Day is coming up on November 6th! While your students may be too young to participate, it’s never too early to start learning about the history of democracy in the United States, or the importance of the vote. Here are 7 picture books that help teach young readers about everything from how we vote and why, to the responsibilities of the President.

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word

This biography of Thomas Paine highlights the important role his pamphlet, Common Sense, played in the American Revolution. That dangerous word mentioned in the title? Independence.

Teacher’s Guide

John, Paul, George & Ben

A comical look at the lives of four (plus one) little lads from the American Colonies, who grew up to be the Founding Fathers.

Teacher’s Guide

Elizabeth Started All the Trouble

Elizabeth Cady Stanton began the fight for the right for women to vote in the US in 1848. In 1920, the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution was ratified, finally guaranteeing the vote for all women. This book highlights the hard work of suffragists, including Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, and Lucy Burns, to secure this right in the 72 years after “Elizabeth started all the trouble.”

Teacher’s Guide

Grace for President

When Grace learns that there has never been a woman as President of the United States, she is determined to be the first. Inspired by Grace’s passion, her teacher decides to hold a mock election at school. Grace launches a full scale campaign, but will it be enough to beat her male opponent? Students will learn about presidential campaigns, the Electoral College, and the importance of each individual’s vote.

Madam President

Have you ever wondered what a President does in a day? Madam President is happy to demonstrate, as she carries out her duties, which include assembling her Cabinet, holding a press conference, and kissing a lot of babies. She may even have time to sneak in a photo op and veto a few bills, all before bedtime.

Rutherford B., Who Was He?

There’s a poem here for each of the first 43 US Presidents, from the most immediately recognizable leaders, to those whose names are a little less familiar. Clever rhymes paired with colorful illustrations will help students put faces, achievements (or failures), and important events to names.

And available now:

Have You Heard About Lady Bird?

In this companion to Rutherford B, Who Was He?, Marilyn Singer puts the First Ladies center stage. With a poem for every First Lady, readers will learn how each woman embraced–or shied away from– a position in which she had little say.