I just read an interesting article (yes, because I had to) about connecting literature study and social studies. The research was done in the US, so the topic was about Texas in the 1900's, but I think it could be useful for anything.
The research was done using book clubs, and three different kinds of literature: biographies, historical fiction and informational books. Each time a new type of literature was introduced, the teacher would read one aloud, and then the students would choose to become members of 1 of 3 book clubs.
The researchers found that it improved, well, everything! The students inquiry was more indepth, their knowledge base was larger, they asked much better questions, their misconceptions about that time in history were cut in half, and on top of it they enjoyed it (So the researchers say).
I just thought I'd blurb (or blog I guess eh) about it since finding curriculum connections is something we are drilled about in our B ed program. According to these guys it works. I could see it, reading a story about Louie Riel, rather than hearing about him or reading a textbook about him would likley be more fun. That topic could get a lot more interesting, depending on the writer's opinion, and the grit they chose to put in the story.
Back to homework, Cheers