In Texas, 4th graders learn Texas History. Even though, I'm originally from Kansas, I have learned a LOT about it over the past 20 years.
We are currently studying the Civil War. Last week, we read two stories about slavery and the war.
Now Let Me Fly by Dolores Johnson is one of the mentor texts included the Comprehension Tool Kit by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. It is a chilling account of a slave family's journey from capture in Western Africa to a plantation in Georgia. Students were shocked and appalled by Minna's story of tragedy and loss.
The lesson in the tool kit focuses on note taking using the "FQR" (Facts/Questions/Responses) strategy. Rather than copy the chart from the kit or make my own, I had students burrito fold a piece of copy paper. Always fun! By now, only a few students still need help. Those who can do it, love to help those who can't. Only one did it vertically this time.
Their questions and responses were both inquisitive and thoughtful!
The next day, I read Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco to them. It is a beautiful story of an unlikely friendship between Say, a young boy from Ohio, and Pink, a former slave fighting for the Union. The kids loved that it was a true story passed down from generation to generation. As I read, they completed a Venn diagram comparing the main characters.
There are many text-to-text connections that can be made between the two stories. We discussed them, but I think the next time I read these two stories, I will have the students record them.
Now you can follow me on Facebook, too!
Looking forward to reading about all the other Social Studies mentor texts!