Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thank you, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving {A must read mentor text for Social Studies and Thanksgiving}

Hey there!

I'm back!  I'm here to share a Must Read Mentor text for Social Studies that ties in nicely with Thanksgiving!!  :O)

I found this text last year and I was super excited because I felt like it gave a different perspective about Thanksgiving, and went along with persuasion as Sarah Hale convinces the president to keep Thanksgiving as a national holiday!!

Here is the description by Amazon:

"We the people of the United States...
Almost Lost Thanksgiving
Yes. That's right!
Way back when "skirts were long and hats were tall" Americans were forgetting Thanksgiving, and nobody seemed to care!
Thankfully, Sarah Hale appeared. More steadfast than Plymouth Rock, this lady editor knew the holiday needed saving. But would her recipe for rescue ever convince Congress and the presidents?
Join acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson on a journey of a woman and a pen that spanned four decades, the Civil War, and five presidents, all so you could have your turkey and eat it too!"

This is a great story of a woman who was persistent and persevered when it seemed everyone was against her!  (PS- the author, Laurie Halse Anderson is a descendant of Sarah Hale!)

Just look at these awesome illustrations!!!

Not only are they eye-catching, but look at all of the discussion that just the illustrations can bring!  First of all, was turkey really served at the first Thanksgiving? (the answer is no!)

Secondly, you've got Pilgrims, Grandma, and football players in the same illustration...and you'll see as you go through the book, there are bits of today in with the past.  It's a great way to engage students in analyzing what is truth in the illustrations and story and what may be the author's additions to make the story more interesting.  (What makes it historical fiction!)

I love using these kinds of mentor texts to help with students' writing!  This is a fun, interesting, and charming story and the author's craft is one that would be perfect for students to model their own writing after.  (You know I love my integration!)

This is a great way to show how Sarah wrote persuasive letters AND to discuss how it became a national holiday!  I also found more resources HERE at  There is a link there to the actual letter that Sarah Hale wrote to President Abraham Lincoln- what a great way to integrate a primary source!!!  And, you can discuss the language and tone of the letter along with her vocabulary!  It's a win-win!!

I hope you'll check out this wonderful book!!

We also have a freebie in our TpT Store that can go with any Thanksgiving story.  

Have a great Thanksgiving to those that celebrate it!

Please Link Up!

Next week's linky- Language Arts


  1. Looks like we both love the same book this week! :) Too funny!

  2. I love this book. I just used it this past week in my persuasive writing unit. I like to use it to help encourage my kiddos that sometimes you have to keep trying and not give up when you really believe in something. I'll use it again in the spring when I teach my kiddos informational writing. We use this book to help teach beginnings and endings.

  3. VERY interesting! This book's authentic topic really does make it an excellent mentor text for teaching persuasive writing!
    Thanks for hosting!

  4. That is one of my absolute favorite Thanksgiving books. I never thought about using it for writing though. Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Eclectic Educating

  5. Adding to my Amazon cart for next year! :) Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. I just posted about this book on Friday! It is a favorite of mine as well! This year my students cheered when I read the page, "Lincoln said, 'Yes!'" Happy Thanksgiving!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  7. This is my FAVORITE Thanksgiving book! Last year, I had my students write letters to change something they felt passionate about. We were writing letters to the superintendent, principal, was lots of fun! I put the packet on TPT and think it's one of my personal favorites!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
    Follow me on Bloglovin!

  8. I love that book! So bummed I didn't get to read it this year because time just went by so fast!! I am definitely going to be starting on all my Christmas books early this year! :)

    Lessons with Laughter


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