Thursday, January 2, 2014

Social Studies Interactive Notebooks- Causes of the American Revolution Nonfiction Articles

Hey there!!

I am here today to link up with our friend Erin for the first time for her

I don't know how you feel about Interactive Notebooks, but I love them!  We have an interactive notebook for all of our subjects in my classroom.  I am not a fan of binders. I mean, I'm a fan of them for ME but not for my students.  The first time a student dropped their binder and the rings popped open and papers and dividers went everywhere...yeah, that was it for me.  Plus, they would never put their papers behind the tab that I asked them to, even if we all did it, yeah, that was it for student binders for me.  I know other teachers have great success with it but I'm just too OCD for it!

For our notebooks/journals, we use composition notebooks.  I actually started them with science and social studies a few years ago and I loved it so much we now have them for Reading, Grammar/Mentor Sentences, Writing, Word Study, Math, and Social Studies/Science.  For Social Studies and Science I use the same composition notebook.  The front half is Social Studies and then we flip it over and go from the back cover towards the middle for Science.  Since we are going into the second half of the year, we will get new composition notebooks for Social Studies and Science when we start back next week!!  This will be exciting for them!  (I's the little things!!)

So, we are about to go into teaching the American Revolutions.  Well, actually The Road to the Revolution (I have no idea if that's an event that needs to be capitalized but that's what everyone calls it, so it sounds important, right?).  So, we will begin discussing events that lead to or caused the American Revolution.

I was looking for some articles that I could use when I was teaching this unit of study but I couldn't quite find what I was looking for.  So, I decided to just make my own articles!!  (GASP!!! How does one even do that?  I wasn't even sure if it could be done!  But it can!)

So, I created these articles for our Social Studies Interactive Notebooks!!

I'm pretty excited about these, but nervous at the same time.  I mean, I'm excited to use them in my classroom.  I know I"m going to use them (obviously) but I'm more so nervous because this is the first time that I've created something like this and put it out there for purchase.  But, I figured if I was having a hard time finding what I needed, maybe someone else was too and they could use these articles?  

I also made comprehension questions to go with each article:
And, I have Interactive Notebook Activities or flipbooks that can be used for each article.

So, how am I going to use this, you might ask?  Well, I will tell you!!  In our science and social studies notebooks we paste all of our articles or notes on the right, and then we "take notes" on the left.  Sometimes they draw pictures of what we are learning about and sometimes we paste in flipbooks.  So, for these articles, we will paste the article on the right, like normal.
Then, I usually have my students take notes from the article.  We draw our notes instead of doing written ones, unless it's really hard to think of a picture.  :O)  We outline paragraphs that go together and we can draw a picture for.  Most of the time I do one paragraph per color, but sometimes I double up.  Then, we draw that picture on the left in the same color.  I do all of this on the document camera so it is projected up on the whiteboard and the students can see my notes.  I do not make them draw the same pictures as me or use the same colors.  However, most of them want the same exact color I use and draw the same exact pictures, which is fine by me!  ;O)
After doing the picture notes, we do the flipbook activity that goes with the article.  Some of the flipbooks may take up more space, but I knew this one was smaller so I had more room for the notes.

After we read that article together and do all of these interactive activities, I give the students the comprehension questions and I can use that for a grade!

Hopefully this makes sense.  If you don't use interactive notebooks, maybe this will help you consider using them???  We love them!!  They are perfect for taking home and studying for tests!

So, what do you think of my first attempt at writing nonfiction articles?  Phew!!  I wanted to note that these are perfect for grades 4-6!  For grade 4, you'll probably want to read it with them and do much of it whole group.  5th and 6th grade would be more independent, and you can always use this to differentiate within your classroom!

Oh, and if you can use these nonfiction articles for your American Revolution unit, you can check them out in our TpT Store. can pin it to win it!!  Yep, you got it!!  You have the chance to win them!!

Here is the pin:

Click on the pin and repin it.  Then, copy the URL of your pin and paste it in the comments.  Also, leave your email address so if you win, I know where to send it!  I'll choose two winners!!  

Thanks so much for reading about how I use Interactive Notebooks!  Be sure to check Erin's blog for more ideas!



  2. LOVE! I pinned it here -

  3. This would be a great addition to my American Revolution Unit. Thank you for sharing such a useful resource!




  4. This looks great! If I taught about the American Revolution, I would snatch these up!

  5. This is great!!!

  6. Wow! Y'all amazing me. I would never be brave enough to make something like this. I'd love win it. I pinned it:
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. Love this!

  8. We are getting ready to start the American Revolution unit. This would be perfect!

  9. I was so excited when I saw this activity! I LOVE IT! Last year we went for a field trip to the Old South Meetinghouse and then walked to the Boston Tea Party Ship which was recently renovated. It was the BEST field trip. This activity will bring history alive for all students.
    p.s. I teach/live about 20 minutes north of Boston; one hour from Plimouth Plantation.

    I am so excited about these nonfiction articles because I teach The Road to Revolution, too! I can't wait to use this in my classroom!

  11. These look fantastic! You did an amazing job! Here's my pin :)

    On the Trail of Learning

  12. These are fantastic and I love that you've incorporated a way to get a grade. Great job!

  13. These are amazing! I LOVE interactive notebooks!

  14. Hello friend!
    I am soooo impressed with the articles you've written - that's the sign of a resourceful teacher. Way to go, superstar! :)
    Here's my pin:

    Joy in the Journey

  15. So cute! I love teaching the Revolution-it's so much fun!!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  16. SO much work there and it looks FABULOUS!!! Seriously LOVE IT!
    :) Erin

  17. Looks great!

  18. We're about to study the Revolution in a few weeks and this would be a fabulous addition to our study!

  19. Love it!!

  20. I LOVE it! And I'm a little sad we finished the AR before Christmas! Definitely keeping this idea for next year in case I don't win!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  21. Love interactive notebooking and I want to step it up this year!

    Success in Second Grade
    Follow me on Facebook!


  23. Love it and pinned it!
    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

  24. I love this idea! I pinned here

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Thanks for sharing.


  27. Your articles are amazing - what great resources. I love how you have your students draw pictures with their notes - I will steal that idea for sure! I am not pinning to win since I do not teach this (obviously) but I am encouraging you to let go of the AR stuff and move on to Medieval Times or Early Settlers in Upper Canada or something I teach and make an awesome unit for that too!!

  28. This looks like a WONDERFUL resource to add to our social studies curriculum! Thanks :3

  29. These look wonderful! I'm either winning or buying! ;)

  30. Love this! Here's my pin!


    Awesome idea!

  32. Looks like a wonderful resource!

  33. Looks fantastic!!! Great resource!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  34. Looks great!

  35. Oh my gosh!!! American Revolution is my absolute favorite thing to teach, ever!!!! I was going to make my own articles like you did but now, I don't have to! I hope I win!

    My email if I win (please! please! please!) is

  36. This looks amazing!




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