Feb 9, 2014

World War II~ A Peek at my Week

Hi Teacher Friends!  Apparently I am going to be much more of a SUMMERTIME blogger than most!  I don't know how you guys do it.  Although I would love to say that I have kept you guys updated on the happenings in my room this year, I just haven't been able to find the time to blog since the fall! BUT...I'm here today to link up with my sweet bloggy friend Jennifer over at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings.  Every once in a while she checks in with me when I take a blogging break to make sure I'm still alive, so today I thought I'd give her a PEEK AT MY WEEK!

If you've read my blog before, you know that I am "ALL IN" when it comes to the integration of Social Studies into my ELA Workshop!  I find that it opens up so many opportunities and allows me to spend more time on everything rather than little time in chunks on different topics.

This week I will be using some great picture books to spark both literary discussions as well as discussions about World War II.  I will also use these as leads for quick writes in my classroom so that we make sure we are writing ALL THE TIME!

Star of Fear, Star of Hope is a wonderful look at Holocaust through the eyes of children.

Baseball Saved Us will give us a look inside a Japanese internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor through the eyes of a little boy.

One Thousand Tracings tells a touching true story of a family in America that has friends in Germany after the war.  This family and their friends learn a great deal about friendship through the tracing of footprints found in an attic.

My students will get a look at the war through the eyes of a few soldiers by sharing letters from the collection Letters Home.  This book has actual envelopes with removable letters that we will use for many ELA Common Core Standards this week.

And last but not least, to begin our research of the Tuskegee Airmen, I will read Wind Flyers.  By the way, did you know that Robin Roberts' (from Good Morning America) father was a member of this prestigious group?  Love her!

If you are interested in a few articles to use on World War II, The Sweetest Thing has some great Multi-Leveled Texts available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Yes, I teach fifth grade.  And yes, my students read lots of lots of chapter books independently for our conferences, but there is so much inspiration just waiting to be found in a picture book...no matter how old you are!  

Each and every picture book out there holds the keys for discussion for lots and lots of Common Core Standards!  What do you plan to read this week?  Do you have any suggestions for my World War II collection?  


  1. I agree that there is so much that can be learned from picture books. That's why it is important that we do not give up these valuable resources as we teach in older grades. You've shared some great resources here and I am so glad that you are back. ;)

    Have a great week, Brandee! Hope to see more from you soon.
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. Great books! It is so nice to see you post. I struggle to post once a week:). I have to remind myself that blogging is something I do, it is not who I am. There are more important things:).

  3. I loved using picture books when I taught 5th! These are great!! Good to hear from you!! Hope all is going well!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  4. It's so nice to see your post today. I wondered where you were! I love to use picture books with my students. One of my sixth graders commented this past week that he enjoys the picture books I use because he can hear a complete story and learn a literary lesson in one sitting instead of it dragging out over days with a novel... BINGO! I was not familiar with several of these titles and went on a little shopping spree on Amazon. I do a WWII/Holocaust unit each year in late spring with my sixth graders. Thank you for sharing these titles.

    1. I wanted to add... Are you familiar with "Terrible Things" by Eve Bunting? It's an allegory of the Holocaust done in grayscale illustrations... very different than Bunting's other material. Wonderful discussion starter!

  5. So glad you are back! :) Ahhhh, this post makes me miss teaching 5th grade SO much - I had planned to use almost all of those books. Enjoy!

  6. Thanks for these great suggestions!

  7. I just added 'From Fox Holes and Flight Decks' to my Amazon Wish List!!! You're not the only one who can't seem to find the time to blog during the school year...I'm not even sure when I wrote my last post :/ In fact, this is the first time I've been on Bloglovin' in a couple of months...thank goodness for these snow days! I'm having fun catching up on all of my favs :)

  8. I missed reading your posts. I have thought about you a few times lately with the bad weather you have had in South Carolina. Glad all is well, and look forward to reading more.

  9. Baseball Saved Us is such a wonderful book! I created an entire SMARTboard file about the Japanese Internment Camp experience that included an anticipation guide for that story last year, but was just reminded of it. Thanks!!


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