May 26, 2013

Social Studies Mentor Texts

Happy Sunday Teacher Friends. I'm stopping in for a quick post to link up with Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties to talk about Social Studies Mentor Texts. 
I have a suggestion with a book and lesson, and a request for all my Social Studies blogger friends to help me out. :)

The book and lesson I would like to share with you is A. Lincoln and Me.  
I can't take credit for this lesson. I found it some time ago at  If you have read my blog before, you will know that I am a big fan of 6+1 Traits of Writing and this website has a ton of fabulous lessons to use with this writing structure.  

A. Lincoln and Me works wonderfully with research for any historical figure from any time span you might be studying.  This beautifully illustrated book shares the story of an awkward young boy that learns of his similarities with Abraham Lincoln.  The story teaches many facts about Lincoln, but also serves well as a MENTOR TEXT that models MAKING CONNECTIONS TO HISTORICAL FIGURES.  Students can create a graphic organizer such as Venn diagram comparing themselves to any historical figure that they've researched to fit your Social Studies Standards.  I would be willing to promise that your students will remember any facts about that person that they can connect to themselves.  I can also promise that this will spark their interest in learning more about that person.  :)  Hope you can use my suggestion. 

NOW for my request!  I need to go book shopping and would like your help!  Sounds like fun right?  Who doesn't love to shop for good books!  Here's what I need...  

I need a LOT of standard specific Social Studies suggestions.  I will not be teaching a separate social studies class, but SS will be fully integrated into my ELA Common Core Informational Text instruction.  My time frame is 1865 to present, which is designated by my South Carolina fifth grade SS standards.  I have set myself up for 8 units of study, with civil rights weaved throughout.  Suggestions?  Tips? Ideas? I need a book list!
1. Reconstruction
2. Westward Expansion
3. Immigration and Industrialization
4. Becoming a World Power
5. The Great Depression
6. World War II
7. The Cold War
8. Globalization

So, let me hear it!  This is your chance to tell me what to buy or beg for!  Please make suggestions of all types of texts that I could use with these units.  Please comment with a title and which unit it best belongs and I will start making my list!  Thanks so much for your help and Happy Sunday!
We won the second round of our state tennis tournament last night! I'm off to play round 3...WISH ME LUCK!


  1. A. Lincoln looks like a cool book, I will have to check that out!

    As for book suggestions...You Wouldn't Want To Be series has a lot of different books that would fit into your time periods-they share facts in a very engaging way. Examples that would apply to your topics:
    You Wouldn't Want to Live in the Wild West
    You Wouldn't Want to Be and American Pioneer
    You Wouldn't Want to Work on a Rail Road

    Teammates by Peter Golenbock-great book about baseball and Civil Rights movement

    The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson-great way to introduce Civil Rights to your kids-about segregation through a child's eye.

    Those are a few that I can think of off the top of my head. As I pack up my classroom and come across other books I'll shoot you an e-mail.

  2. Westward Expansion

    Little Miss History Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE nonfiction history and travel. History, construction, and human rights issues. Available on amazon

  3. Hi Brandee!
    I love your mentor text suggestion. It seems like you can even use that book for teaching character education and anti-bullying lessons since the boy is comforted by the fact that he shares some of the same "awkward" qualities as the president!

    You may be familiar with Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford as it's set in North Carolina. I love it for reading comprehension strategy lessons!
    Hope it makes your list!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  4. Love this one and use it with my kids! We are all about Lincoln here in Illinois... :0) Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas, once again.

    Have a wonderful week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  5. I love the book Dandelions by Eve Bunting for Westward Expansion. It's great for metaphor and just all around a wonderful story, too!
    ideas by jivey

  6. I love Writing Fix! It is a great resource. Good luck finding texts for all of those topics! I'm sure the upper grade teachers will have plenty of suggestions for you.

    Literacy Spark

  7. I have never heard of this book but it looks awesome!! I have also never heard of writing fix so I will have to check that out!

    One of my favorites for westward expansion that I integrate into language arts is Dandelions by Eve Bunting. We have an inferencing pack in our TpT store for it (not that I'm trying to sell you something, just to make your life easier).

    A few more about Westward expansion (because I don't really teach the rest):
    Apples to Oregon
    The Great Horned Spoon
    There are a few more but my mind is blank. We are out for the summer but I'll randomly send you some ideas as they come to me.

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. I love your blog! I'm glad to be your newest follower! Thanks for the writing fix website. My school uses 6+1 Writing Traits, too, so I'm always looking for helpful lessons to go along with that. As for books, I always loved the chapter book Number the Stars dealing with WWII and the Holocaust. Also, I remember reading the book The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. It's about a little girl that immigrates from China, and the book talks about the difference in Chinese and American cultures and the importance of accepting people even if they are different. Hope this helps!

    Teacher at the Wheel

  9. I have never heard of writingfix. I am a fan of 6 trait as well. I will have to check it out. Sometimes I run out of writing lesson inspiration. Thanks.
    Have a great week.

    School Is a Happy Place


Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by. :)

Copyright © Creating Lifelong Learners | Blog Template by Lilipop Designs