Social Studies Lessons

Read this book.  You will be a different person when you are finished.

Something I now understand that I didn’t know 10 or 15 years ago:  This idea that I “don’t like social studies” is untrue.  It’s just a matter of what sticks.  Dry and boring accounts of what battle happened on what hill in what year don’t stick in my head.  But stories stick in my head.  In detail.  Sometimes word for word.  Because of The Imam’s Daughter, I understand a little bit more about Muslim family and community structure.  Because of Left to Tell, I know about the Rwandan holocaust.  Because of The West Wing (coupled with lots of questions for my friend Chad), I understand many elements of American government that I didn’t before.

My social studies teachers would have done well to assign me a personal narrative or work of fiction from every single topic they wanted me to learn, and I would have learned it.

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