Social Studies


Government by Education Librarian

Listed below are selected teacher resources, picture books, and non-fiction related to government.

Teacher Resources

Powerful social studies for elementary students

by Jere Brophy, Janet Alleman, and Anne-Lise Halvorsen

Grades: K-6

This book combines theory and research with examples from classroom practice, and outlines ways to select content and teach history, geography, and social sciences meaningfully in the elementary classroom. Includes specific content on civics and government.

Canadians and their government: A resource guide

by Canadian Heritage

Grades: 6-12

Gives a comprehensive and concise explanation of how Canada has developed, and continues to develop, as a democratic country. Includes activities to help youth become familiar with, think critically about and engage themselves in Canada’s democratic system of government. Also available online and in French.

Picture Books

Alexander the grape: The right to be considered no matter how old you are

written by Dustin Milligan, illustrated by Jasmine Vicente

Although dreams of the exciting things that await him when he is older – like becoming a bottle of grape juice and travelling to far off lands! With an election underway, he becomes immersed in local politics— campaigning to lower the age necessary to become grape juice. This book explores the right to be considered regardless of age. For more in the “Charter for Children” series, click here.

 That’s not fair!: Getting to know your rights and freedoms

written by Danielle S. McLaughlin, illustrated by Dharmali Patel

A collection of stories illustrating civil liberties. Mayor Moe and the councillors of the City often need to come up with new laws to keep things ticking along smoothly. But what happens when they don’t agree about the solution to a problem? In each story the councillors are presented with a problem, and the group then makes a decision to address the problem with a new law, only to discover later there were unintended consequences in each instance.

Amelia Bedelia’s first vote

written by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril

Letting an elementary school vote on school rules? It probably won’t end well, but Amelia Bedelia’s first foray into the democratic process is a clever way to engage kids in a discussion of elections. Kids will learn about absentee ballots, run-offs, and the power of persuasion. See also Amelia Bedelia 4 mayor.


Get involved: Democracy

by Joy Kita

Grades: 3-6

Discusses Canada’s democratic process and the important role of Canadian citizens. Part of the To Be Canadian series.

Who runs this country anyway? A guide to Canadian government

by Joanne Stanbridge

Grades: 3-7

Covers core concepts of Canadian government including the structure of government, the role of the monarch, the Constitution, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, referendums, by-elections, and everything students need to know about Parliament. Includes text, photos, and illustrations.

Art of the possible: An everyday guide to politics

written by Edward Keenan, art by Julie McLaughling

Grades: 5-9

An introduction to politics, and why we need them. Includes topics such as why we form societies, the basic types of governments, the power of public opinion, methods of rhetoric, and the reasons why politicians ‘lie’. Each chapter covers a single topic and includes relevant case studies.

Government of Canada Series

by various authors

Grades: 6-8

The four books in this series – Federal Government, Municipal Government, Provincial and Territorial Governments, and the Rights and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizens – provide readers with a detailed look at the country’s systems of government.


by Charles Boocock

Grades: 6-9

Part of the Issues 21 series, which examines contemporary issues in society in order to develop students’ skills in the areas of critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, ethical citizenship and activism. Includes 6 student books and a teacher’s guide.

Systems of government series

by various authors

Grades: 6-9

The four books in this series – Communism, Dictatorship, Monarchy, and Democracy – look at different systems of government and discusses their origins, history and practical application in the world.

Finding More Resources

To find more resources in this area, try the following:

  • Search using the General tab on the UBC Library website to look for material in all UBC Library branches.
  • Search using “Search Education Resources” box in the left hand bar on the Education Library website to limit your results to materials in the Education Library.
  • Use specific search terms to narrow your results, such as “Canada–Politics and government–Juvenile literature.”, “Civics–Juvenile fiction.”, “Politics, practical–fiction”, “Political science”
  • To find lesson plans, include “lesson plans”, “lesson planning”, or “activity programs” in your search terms.

For more help with searching, please visit the Library Service Desk or e-mail

Story written by Education Librarian


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