Sunday, April 28, 2013

You Wouldn't Want to Be...Series for Must Read Social Studies Mentor Texts

This week we are linking up mentor texts for the subject of Social Studies!  This can be any topic or even a book you use in Language Arts but it's based around your Social Studies curriculum!!  We love to integrate!

But, even though we do love to integrate, and I do have some books I want to share about that, I decided to link up some books that I used that were a quick attention-getter for my students!  These are great books to use to introduce a new unit.  I know with summer coming, we'll be looking for books we may want to purchase for next year, and I would recommend some of these!

I love that these books highlight the hardships of these time periods, mainly because it is so interesting for the students.  The illustrations are very eye-catching and interesting for them, too.

(You can click on the pic and it will make it bigger so you can look closer)

From You Wouldn't Want to Sail with Christopher Columbus  (I used this to introduce our explorers unit!)

The box with the bug in it has a caption that reads: "ITCHY? Ask other sailors to help comb the lice from your hair."  Ugh, right?  My students flipped out but wanted to hear more!

This is from the same book.  The caption next to the cheese says: "CHEESE is very smelly and full of worms."  I won't even tell you what the other captions say about the food...blech!!!

This one came from the book You Wouldn't Want to be an American Pioneer.

The caption at the top right corner says: "Handy Hint- Trapped in the snow and starving? You will get a tiny amount of goodness by making a stew from your leather boot."  Yum, yum.

See, aren't these fun?!?  At the end of the books, they leave the reader with a question:
If you were given the chance again, would you really want to sail with Christopher Columbus?
Had you known the hardships you would face, would you still have wanted to be an American colonist?

So, I made a little sheet for students to be able to make their own "You Wouldn't Want to..." poster about what we are learning.  I would want them to pick something small to focus on.  Like, "You Wouldn't want to be a Soldier in the Continental Army" or "You wouldn't want to be a Native American when Columbus Landed".

Here is the sheet- you can download it if it's something you might try!

I wanted their poster to look like the illustrations in the book.  :O)

There are TONS of these "You Wouldn't want to" books...go check Amazon...I'm not kidding you!

And, I'm breaking my own rules here, but I have some books that you might consider for your classroom library.

These are called You Choose Books.  It's a story and the reader comes to a point in the book where they have to make a decision for the character.  I have the American Revolution book.  First you get to choose your character.  Your choices are the daughter of a militia captain, a young Connecticut patriot, or a loyalist. Then it tells you the page that your story starts on.  From there,  you have to make certain choices.  For example, contact a spy network or go find your father.  Then, for each choice, you have to go to a specific page.

I think these are great for independent readers but you could do it as a class read aloud and then have students predict what will happen on certain paths that the character takes and explain the cause/effect relationships throughout the book.

I have a certain difficult student in my class and he LOVES these books.  He has read most of them, and it gives him something to share about when we are discussing some of these events in Social Studies.  I definitely recommend these for your classroom library, if nothing else.

Phew, could I give you anything more to chew on???  I hope you aren't on overload already because I want you to be able to read all of the other wonderful mentor texts that are being linked up!!

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

I CAN'T WAIT to see what Must Read Social Studies Mentor Texts you link up!  I'm super excited!!!!

I promise this is the last time you will see this giveaway (for our Facebook fans)!!  A winner will be chosen tomorrow!  ;O)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the Linky- Please make yourself a SANDWICH!  Please comment on the person who linked up before you and the person that linked up after you.  I know everyone puts in a lot of time and effort to these posts and I want everyone to feel the love!!!  (Haha, see, you're a know...because you are in the middle of the you get it?)  ;O)

Next week's topic- Language Arts (anything goes- reading, writing, or grammar!)


  1. My students love You wouldn't Want to books! I'm always looking to pick up more of those when scholastic has them. The other series is new to me. I look forward to checking those out. I have a few kiddos that would love that.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I love the You Wouldn't Want to be books! I must have put mine away in some great place so that I could find them when I need them...and I haven't seen them in a while.;) I'll go look for them tomorrow! :)

    A teacher mentioned the You Choose books to me the other day. I don't have any. I guess I'll hope over to my Books A Million wish list right now. :)

    Thanks for sharing and for hosting!
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. I love the look of the "You Wouldn't Want to be" books and your follow up activity looks super fun. They look like books that would hook the boys in for sure. What a great way to introduce a unit and tie in non-fiction text features!! Thanks for sharing your activity and these books, I love both.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  4. I have never seen/heard of the "You Wouldn't Want to be" books but I am definitely going to check them out. Your follow up activity is great, as well. Thanks for sharing :o)


  5. I am loving both sets of books you posted!! Social Studies (particularly history) is one of my favorite subjects! Our third grade curriculum is so boring. Practically no history so I always add it in on my own! I'll be linking up later today! THANKS!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  6. Ooh, I never heard of the You Wouldn't Want to Be series! I will have to check that one out, thanks ladies! Have a great Sunday! :)

  7. I just ordered several of the You Wouldn't Want to Be series books on Thursday. A teacher from another school told me how much her students loved them and how much they are truly learning from reading them. Thank you for sharing your poster. I will be using it! This is my first time I have participated in your linky and I am loving all the great finds!

    Foreman Teaches

  8. The "You Wouldn't Want to Be" series looks like a lot of fun. Do you actually read the whole book aloud or just bits and pieces? I'm sure the attention span of your fourth graders is a lot better than my second graders, but I'm just curious. A lot of the science and social studies themed books are long and have a lot to them, so I would just pick and choose portions of the text because my kids only had 30 minutes total for sic/ss!

    Literacy Spark

  9. I have not seen this series of books! They look fantastic!
    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  10. Love the "You Wouldn't Want to..." texts--used to use them with my fifth graders! Glad to be able to link up again this week...

    Have a great week,
    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  11. Oh my goodness, my students are CRAZY about the "You Wouldn't Want to..." series! I don't have any in my classroom library (they clear out the whole stock from the media center lol), but they're on my must-buy list! I'm linking up soon! :)


  12. Thanks for hosting again. I think this series of link ups is a great resource. I also appreciate your care in following up with those participating.
    Have a nice week.

    School Is a Happy Place

  13. I'm going to pin this right now! My students would LOVE these books! What is it about gross facts and fourth graders?!?
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  14. Ladies,
    These look to be terrific books. What a wonderful way to engage students in social studies.

    Happy Teaching,

  15. These books look very familiar and I think I have one floating around somewhere on my shelves! I am still organizing and trying to figure out what I have (lots of things from previous teachers!). I have pinned it and hopefully this summer I can get more organized! Thanks so much for hosting:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  16. Another book along those lines that I just got this year is The Foul, Filthy American Frontier: The Disgusting Details About the Journey Out West - it was really an attention grabber, especially for my boys! They all loooooved the page about buffalo chips! :-P
    ideas by jivey

  17. I can't wait to read all of these links! I have just found your blog and am your newest follower. I teach fourth grade, too!

    Teaching Fourth

  18. That series of books looks awesome. I'm going to have to check it out.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  19. Love those books and love this freebie! Thanks for sharing!

    Love to Learn

  20. Hi Girls!
    So excited to link up this week! YAY!
    I love the illustrations on the pages of "You Wouldn't Want to Sail"! What a cool series to teach!

    Have a super great week!

  21. Love this! Picked up You Wouldn't Want to be a Colonist this morning and needed a resource. Thanks, ladies. :)

    -Catherine Reed


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