Hey there! Happy Easter!
I'm here today to share a text that is fabulous for Social Studies, but also fantastic for making inferences!! I thought for sure I had shared this text before, but I couldn't find it so I MUST share it now!!
Embarking on a new life, Zoe and her family journey west to the Nebraska Territory in the 1800s. When Zoe and her family arrive at their claim, nothing distinguishes it from the miles and miles of surrounding prairie. Even after they build their soddie, the home can't be seen from any distance. Zoe has never seen Papa so happy or Mama so sad. But when she takes a trip to the small prairie town with Papa, Zoe sees something that might make a difference to their new soddie, and to Mama's life, too.
Beware, it's a very sweet story but it also makes you feel very sad. Throughout the story, the reader is making inferences on how the narrator's mom feels about moving west, and she is mostly very sad. The little girl is constantly trying to make her mama happy. It's just so sweet, and it gives the reader a good idea of what it might have been like to move west.
They endure the trail west, see nothing but prairie for miles, and find their claim in Nebraska. Nothing looks different, it's just endless prairie. They make a soddie, a house made of sod, that blends into the rest of the prairie. Zoe's mom is constantly worried that the girls will get lost and not be able to find their way home because everything looks the same. Their nearest neighbors are 3 hours away and there is no water. It explains how they build their soddie, dig a well, and how they plant their first seeds and just how much work it really was, even for the kids!
Spoiler Alert!!! If you don't want to know what happens, skip this paragraph and the picture! When Zoe, the little girl, goes to the prairie town, she sees a patch of dandelions on the side of the road. She asks her papa to dig them up because she wants to give them to her mom for a birthday gift. And, her idea is to plant the dandelions on the roof of the house so that her mama will never have to worry again about where their house is. Isn't that the sweetest?? There are also many metaphors in the book about the strength of the dandelions and the strength of the family. Such a sweet book!!
So, I strongly recommend this book. Not just if you teach Westward Expansion. If you teach Language Arts, it's a great book for inferring. Truly. So much so, that I made a unit to go with it two years ago!
Also, I'm very excited to share that I FINALLY finished the Westward Expansion articles that I have been working on for two weeks!!! Wahoo!!! We are going to use these in our Social Studies interactive journals for our unit that starts on Wednesday!! These articles are based on what we need to teach in 4th grade in GA. However, they would be great for nonfiction close reading, even if you don't teach this, plus you can use them to differentiate in grades 4-6! The vocabulary makes it challenging for 4th graders, which is why we do it together, but if you teach a higher grade, this could possibly be done independently.
American Revolution Articles).
I hope you try out Dandelions! It's such a great book!! Also, since I totally messed up the link up this month, we still have the 4th Sunday next week. I thought we could do favorite spring books or favorite end of the year books. Basically anything you want for any subject!!! :O)
Also, I'm thinking we will probably stop doing the Must Read Mentor Text Linky over the summer. May will be our last month and then we MIGHT start it back in August or we may not...we just aren't sure. However, we will continue to share wonderful books we have found, even if we don't have a link up. :O)
Have a wonderful Easter!
Next week's linky- Favorite Spring or End of the Year Books