Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mentor Text More Than Anything Else

I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text Memo.  I have always loved the book More Than Anything Else about Booker T. Washington.  My Daddy used to call me "Booker T." and ask me where the M.G.s were (apparently a band - Booker T and the M. G.s was popular in the sixties) when I was little, and still does every once in a while.  
That bit of randomness really has nothing to do with why I love this book, but it's funny how text-to-self connections come to mind when you're writing about books.  Back to the story...

"A fictionalized story about the life of young Booker T. Washington. Living in a West Virginia settlement after emancipation, nine-year-old Booker travels by lantern light to the salt works, where he labors from dawn till dusk. Although his stomach rumbles, his real hunger is his intense desire to learn to read. A moving and inspirational story." - School Library Journal, starred review


Not only is this book absolutely beautifully illustrated, it is heart-wrenching to read of the life of young Booker T. Washington, as he works in the salt mines alongside his father, with the salt cutting into his tender young hands.  After dark, when it's safer, young Booker practices learning to read words written in the dirt with a stick.  I use this story to introduce biographies, discuss equal rights, study Black History Month, and to remind my students of how lucky they really are to have the right to education.  It's moving enough to get through to the toughest kids I've ever taught, making them think twice, even if for only a moment, about being lucky to be in school!

With the common core standards' being implemented, there are so many ways to use this book.  Of course, there is close reading, for vocabulary, for the facts about Booker T. Washington, for biographical elements, and for how their thinking changes from before their reading to after.

This year, I'll definitely be pumping up the lessons I do with this book, but I don't have my ideas quite together yet.  Stay tuned for some reading responses and lesson ideas to use with my favorite social studies mentor text!

And be sure to drop by for Monday Made-It tomorrow.  I can't wait to show you my up-cycled Goodwill and Salvation Army finds, including a chevron nightmare!

Hugs,
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12 comments:

  1. Brooke, thanks for stopping by my little blog! :) I think your stuff is great! I've just spent every waking minute shamelessly promoting my stuff since I started last month :) I'll definitely have to slow down now that school is starting soon. I feel like the best thing to do is collaborate with others to build your following...I'm your newest follower. Let me know if you ever want to get together and link up for something!

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    1. You are so smart for all the "marketing" you've done! I was just telling my sister-in-law about how fast you've created a following. I'd love to link up - you're my 110th follower, so maybe I'm up for a give-away.
      Thanks,
      Brooke

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  2. I love this book!! It was in our 3rd grade anthology and I just think it has a great message!

    I'm so glad you linked up!
    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

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    1. Thanks for hosting, Amanda! I can't believe that story was in your anthology - what series was it? I LOVE that book, "more than anything else".
      Brooke

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  3. What a great book! I haven't heard of it, but I love historical fiction picture books. Thanks for sharing!

    -Amanda @
    Teacher at the Wheel

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    1. You'll love it, Amanda! It's historical - biographical fiction, so it makes for a great genre book, too.
      Brooke

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XOXO,
Brooke