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Kristy Brugar

Kristy Brugar


International Literacy Association (ILA)



Norman, OK
Assistant Professor

"ReadWriteThink.org lessons and related resources have become an invaluable part of my work with teacher candidates. There are many examples of meaningful and educative integration of literacy and history/social studies written by classroom teachers."

Kristy Brugar's Story
Finding Cross-curricular Inspiration With ReadWriteThink.org

I have been a teacher for almost 20 years working, in a variety of schools. I entered teaching with a love of history and reading (both literature and informational text) and a goal to bring these two things together in my classroom. As a middle school teacher, I was driven by this personal passion and goal to integrate subject matter and skills in meaningful ways. Often, my American history students would read a piece of historical fiction (favorites include Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson and Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen) and decipher fact from fiction, or they would read and analyze political cartoons of a particular time period.

Curricular integration is easier said than done! This became clear to me as I moved from the middle school classroom to the university classroom. Now I work with elementary and secondary teacher candidates who are preparing to teach social studies. I have found the teacher candidates with whom I work have few meaningful and educative examples of the integration of reading and history/social studies thus the resources at ReadWriteThink.org have become invaluable. Each semester I have my teacher candidates select a ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan identified under the theme of “social studies/history.” There are a myriad of choices thus each teacher candidate is able to select a grade level and topic of interest to them. Because of the large selection of lessons, it is rare that more than one person selects a lesson. Although from semester to semester, my students select: Let's Talk About Stories: Shared Discussion With Amazing Grace (K-2); Learning About Research and Writing Using the American Revolution (3-5); ABC Bookmaking Builds Vocabulary in the Content Areas (6-8); Tell the Story: Improving Comprehension With Persepolis (9-12).

Once a lesson is selected, my teacher candidates review and critique the lesson for meaningful social studies instruction and educative interdisciplinary experiences for students. They teach the lesson and share their critiques in our class; thus all the teacher candidates walk away with many excellent examples of lessons in which literacy and social studies objectives complement one another. Finally, they enter a professional learning community from which they can draw from and potentially contribute to in the future.



Related Resources

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Let's Talk About Stories: Shared Discussion With Amazing Grace

Make space for critical literacy and engage students in meaningful, thoughtful discussions. Using Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, students dig deep into themes such as prejudice, courage, and self-confidence.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

ABC Bookmaking Builds Vocabulary in the Content Areas

V is for vocabulary. A content area unit provides the theme for a specialized ABC book, as students select, research, define, and illustrate a word for each alphabet letter.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Pictures Tell the Story: Improving Comprehension With Persepolis

Students get the big picture of the Middle East when they read and analyze Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis.


Currently I am an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. In this position I work with teacher candidate and in-service teachers in social studies education at the elementary and secondary levels. My research interests include interdisciplinary instruction, visual literacy in social studies, and teacher preparation/ professional development in social studies. When I am not teaching, I enjoy reading about and traveling to places near and far.