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June 23, 2013

A Paradise Called Texas - Social Studies Mentor Text

If it is Sunday, then it is Collaboration Cuties Must Read Mentor Texts linky or the weekly meeting of Bookaholics Non-Anonymous. This week, the focus is on Social Studies mentor texts. My fav!

I am super excited about getting to teach 2nd grade Math & Science next year, but I am super sad about not getting to teach 4th grade Social Studies. One of my favorite read alouds is was A Paradise Called Texas by Janice Jordan Shefelman.

Summary: A Paradise Called Texas is the story of young Mina, who immigrated with her parents from Germany in 1845 - the year the Republic of Texas became a state of the United States.

The book is based on the author's ancestry. The first few chapters tell the family's life in Germany before their voyage to Texas begins.

At first, Mina's experiences upon her arrival in Texas seemed far from the paradise that she had expected. However, after enduring tragedy, hardship and adventure, Mina and her father settled happily in the emerging village of Fredericksburg.

The entire text of the book is available online here. Even if you don't live in Texas, this is a great story of the hardships immigrants face settling in a new world.



  1. This looks like a great book to share with my kiddos. I am adding it to my wishlist!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Oh, I will teach immigration next year...I'll check it out. Thanks!
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. I have never heard of this book! I feel like y'all have a lot of great history in Texas. I think it would be fun to teach and I would miss it too.

    I love the first paragraph of this post. It made me LOL!
    Collaboration Cuties

    1. It is like a whole other country down here. Texas history is full of great characters; Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, etc...

      This year, my class also noticed that starting with the Texas Revolution there were a lot of wars. Boys, in particular, love 4th grade Social Studies.

      Honestly, it was the ONLY reason I stayed in 4th LA/SS for the past 7 years.

  4. I will have to check this book out. I had not heard of it.
    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack

  5. Do you have the curriculum to teach the book still? I am wanting to teach it to my 4th graders but not having much luck finding the curriculum for it. Thanks, Lisa