Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Common Core Close Read using the Mentor Text Arctic Memories

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a great week! This was my last official week of summer. Our district goes back to school this Wednesday for pre-planning. I can't believe the summer has flown by! I'm not ready for another school year yet! I have waaaaaaaaaay toooooooo much to do!!!

But TODAY is a GREAT day because I get to share an awesome book with you AND it's my BFF's Birthday! Please give Amanda some birthday love!  :)  Happy Birthday, Amanda!!! (I had to sneak this in without her seeing...hehe.....)

But anyways, I am excited to share a new Social Studies Must Read Mentor Text with you today!

It is called Arctic Memories by Normee Ekoomiak. I just found this book at a book sale that I went to, and I am so glad I did! It will be perfect for our unit on Native Americans when we focus in on the Inuit tribe. It's also going to be great for a close read. Blurb: Ekoomiak, an Inuk from the James Bay region of arctic Quebec, describes--in both English and the striking Inuit language--various aspects of Inuit life and lore.

One really cool aspect of this book is that it is written in both Inuit language and English! I love that they are written together so that students can compare the languages. 

The book is broken down into different topics relating to the Inuit way of life on each page. When I read this with my students, I am going to choose sections at a time to read together rather than reading the entire book at once. I want to narrow in our focus of the Inuit each time we read.

So, the first time I read this with my students I am going to project the page up on my board. We are going to read the first page "In the Iglu" together. During this first reading, we are just getting the main gist of the passage.

Then, we are going to read it a second time, and this time we are going to focus on new or interesting words (vocabulary). I will circle the words on the board and I will have my students fill them in on their graphic organizer (see below for the FREEBIE). We will use context clues to determine the meaning and importance of the words, and we will discuss them together.

On the third read, we will sketch out what we are learning. I will have students draw pictures to show what information they have learned about the Inuit. I love the idea of having students sketch out their learning because students are visualizing what they are reading and are truly thinking.

Finally, we will read the passage a fourth time, and I will pose this text dependent question to the students- "How does the Inuit's shelter change throughout the year?" Students will have to use evidence from the passage to support their answers.

Here is the graphic organizer we will use to keep track of our learning. I will probably have my students paste this into their notebooks so that they can refer back to it during our study of Native Americans.

This graphic organizer will work with any nonfiction text. After I have modeled reading closely and finding text evidence, I will have students work in pairs to read another portion of the text and then fill in their graphic organizers together.

Click here to download this FREEBIE
I definitely wouldn't read every text this way. But, I think this repeated purposeful reading is extremely important for my students. The students are making sense of what they are learning rather than just listing facts they hear or writing definitions of new words. And by reading it more than once, they are developing a better and deeper understanding of the text.

Do you have any close reading strategies that you use? I would love to hear about them!  :)

Please leave feedback if you download the graphic organizer. :)  THANK YOU!

I can't wait to see what books you are using for Social Studies!

Have a wonderful week!
-Stacia  :)

(If you have never linked up before you can check HERE for more information.)

Next week's topic- Language Arts


  1. Happy birthday Amanda! Enjoy your day! Lucky for me I'm a blogger or I'd be totally missing out on the "close reading" trend going on because of common core. We've heard nothing of it in Texas. I definitely see the benefits though at times. My second graders are always fascinated by anything related to the Arctic. Maybe that's a Texas issue too since they never see snow!

    Literacy Spark

  2. Happy Birthday Amanda!

    Thanks for the freebie, I know that I need to work on having my kiddos do a close read more often this year. I will have to check out this book. My kiddos love learning about the Arctic.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely have to check this book out.


  4. Thank you so much for such an informative and interesting post on how you take your students through a close reading. I'm going to be implementing CC this year and need all the advice/info that I can get ;o) I made sure to pin your post so other teachers could benefit, too! Thanks for the great graphic organizer!

  5. I'll need to add that book to my Amazon wishlist! Native Americans of the United States is a big Social Studies topic in 5th grade. Plus, getting close reading into social studies - Love it!

    Happy Birthday Amanda!

    Thanks so much for sharing,

    My Shoe String Life
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  6. Thanks Stacia for detailing how you will use this book for a close reading. I like how you will model with one section before you have them work in partners on a new section. Happy birthday Amanda!!!!

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  8. What a fantastic book!! Love it! You do such a great job sharing the details! Thanks!
    Happy Birthday Amanda!!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  9. Happy Birthday Amanda!!! :) This is a great resource. I have some friends that are going to be so excited when they see your post! :) Nice work!
    Creating Lifelong Learners
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  10. I love that you just happened upon that book! And to have the dual languages in there is an A+ in my book!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  11. Thank you for the freebie! I love how all that information is kept in one spot. Thank you also for explaining how you would complete your close read.

  12. Thank you for the awesome freebie. I'm looking forward to using it this year. I appreciate the way you detailed how you use it in your close reading lessons.

    I really like how Artic Memories has both English and Inuit language in it.

    Thank you for sharing the book and for hosting this linky party!


  13. Stacia, I love the detail in this post! And how did I miss this book?? Why didn't you show it to me?? ;o)

    Happy birthday Mander!!!
    J to the Ivey
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  14. Happy Birthday Amanda! Thank you for giving me another book that's great for close reading! I love the way you explained your process in detail. Thanks for the freebie!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  15. I missed the last SS link up, but I'm back! Thanks for this fantastic link up opportunity!

    Aspire to Inspire

  16. Pinning this now! I love that the book you featured this week is bilingual and in Inuit at that! So cool! I'm your newest follower and a fellow fourth grade teacher :)

    Fourth Grade Lemonade


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