Well, my fourth graders and I are NEARLY finished with our feature articles unit...and, boy, have we had a blast! They have learned so much about different text structures, how to take a topic and "spin" it to make it more appealing--not to mention all the new tech skills they learned like inserting photos with citations, and so on.
So...next on the list? Historical fiction! I LOVE historical fiction! I think it is a fantastic way to tie our content to our literature and to really help students see how history really IS a story! Every year I start my unit with a few of my favorite pictures books, but my mentor text for the unit is always Sarah, Plain and Tall. I don't know why--but I absolutely love this little novel. We study how Patricia MacLachlan uses language...how the characters change...how the setting is SO important...how the book is filled with similes and other little word gems. We read the book in literature circles/book clubs, and it is the only novel I read "whole class" all year. We then move into book clubs of historical fiction and independent book selections. Last year after finishing Sarah, half of my class begged to read Skylark and then several of those kiddos finished the entire series!
This whole week I have been working to realign my unit "stuff" with the Common Core, and it was a big relief to finish that tonight! Take a peek if you want--it was quite an undertaking for me! And this collage is only half the pages!
Here is my request/challenge/bribe...I am asking for suggestions as to other historical fiction books you have read with students and loved! Leave me your suggestions in the comments with your email and--if you trust me--I will have my son randomly select one of you to get a free copy of my Sarah, Plain and Tall unit! If you just want to leave me a suggestion and aren't interested in the unit--let me know that in your comments as well...no hurt feelings, I promise! I know it isn't a formal "raffle", but I'd really love to add to my historical fiction collection, and YOU are the people to help me do that! It's only fair that I reward one of you!
So...leave me book suggestions over the next two days, and I will have my son draw the name out of a hat (could be a plastic baggie--just trying to be honest here) sometime Saturday morning and I will ship off all 64 pages of that bad boy right to the winner's emailbox! Deal? I'm looking for suggestions for grades 3-6 reading levels...let's see what we can come up with together! Maybe you'll get some new book ideas as well.