Monday, June 24, 2013

Mentor Social Studies Text

I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text Linky.  This week's focus is on social studies books.  There are oh, so many I could talk about...a favorite for SC or American history is

The Man Who Loved the Flag by Idella Bodie, but since I don't really teach those subjects any longer, I'll just say that this short non-fiction chapter book, that reads like a novel, is about William Jasper during the American Revolutionary Battle at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island.  He's a little-known hero, until you realize that Jasper County, and many other places in South Carolina are named for him.

Then, there is the almost endless list of Tomie dePaola books, so many possibilities there!

My absolute favorites are centered around Martin Luther King, Jr.  There are two:

I especially love Martin's Big Words, because it's written as though Martin is growing up throughout the book, and his famous quotes are woven throughout the text.  There is a version of this book being read aloud on United Streaming that I adore.  I linked the read-aloud to the picture of the book, but I'm not sure if you'll need a subscription to access the link.  If so, search the title with Scholastic Weston Woods on  There's a copy there, too, although I'm unsure if it's a licensed copy, so I won't attach the link.  The voice-over and the graphics of this particular reading are so moving I can not help but show it to my students!  They are almost moved to tears several times throughout this reading, and we stop the video often to talk about what's being said, what it means, and  what the effects of those particular words were.  After watching, my students write responses describing their feelings during listening.  Then they use these feelings to write about their own dreams for the future.  Click on the My Dream paper below to access your free copy of all three pages in Google Docs!

We usually crack open those two eggs at about this point (you know, the white egg and the brown egg, with the same exact thing inside) to talk about how the outside of something, or someone, doesn't make a whit, a bit of difference.  Thank you, Pinterest!  I show the eggs whole, first, then crack them into two identical bowls to show the inside, and finally swap the bowls around several times, like some kind of carnival-coin-under-the-cup trick, and ask if the kids know which egg came from the brown shell.  Of course they never can, which just proves my point!

Next, I pull out my old, beat-up copy of:

Dear Dr. King is the perfect book for tying in reading response, letter writing, and MLK, Jr. Day.  I have had this book for years, and have read selected letters from children of different ages to my classes each year.  Their letters are amazing, insightful, and inspirational.  Students throughout my teaching years have loved this book so much that it's almost as "real" as that certain bunny from The Velveteen Rabbit!  I have never owned a book that students want to get their hands on more.  My students then write their own letters to Dr. King, to talk about their lives, their experiences with prejudice, and their beliefs about equality.
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  1. Wow, these are a lot of great books that you linked up here!

    I love the egg idea! What a great visual that makes a very important point!

    Thanks so much for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

    1. Thanks, again, for hosting! Now, you know that egg idea has been on Pinterest, and isn't my creativity, right? But I love how effective it is...

  2. I love the egg analogy!! Pinning this for future reference! Thanks:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. Girl, that egg has been all over Pinterest - that's where I found it! It really does make the point, though, and the kids are AMAZED that they can't tell the difference once the eggs have been cracked. It CRACKS me up :)

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