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Old 06-18-2013, 06:09 PM
 
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I am a new fourth grade teacher and need help/suggestions for novels that go with the Regions of the United States that we are studying in social studies. Any ideas???


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Old 06-18-2013, 06:25 PM
 
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I teach state history in 4th, but a search came up with this...

http://www.janekurtz.com/books/35bestbooks.html

Or this teacher http://hil.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/

might give you some ideas. Click academics then Social Studies.
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Regions of the U.S.
Old 06-18-2013, 06:37 PM
 
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I taught regions in third grade. I made sure I had many biographies of people who were born in each region. The website I used to find people from each of the regions was www.50states.com/bio. Once I had the people list for each region, I checked my school's on-line library catalog to see which books were available for certain people that I knew my third graders would find interesting. Then I checked-out the books from my school library and put them in a basket for all to enjoy during independent reading time. I also read some of the really good ones aloud...people who were referred to in our social studies materials too.

I am wondering if there is a website with the same kind of list for novels that pertain to the regions. I am hoping others can help you with this info. If you do not get many responses at this board, you might want to move your question to the BusyBoard at this site.

Sarah, Plain and Tall and the sequels are novels I think would work very well in fourth grade. The main character is from the NE, but moves to the Midwest to marry. This would be a very good read aloud, and then your students might show interest in reading the sequels.

You also might want to check on the author Jean Craighead George. She has a mystery book set in the Florida Everglades (I think).

If you are using Reader's Workshop, you might also want to find picture books with settings in the regions to use as your mentor texts.

Another thing to do is find a cookbook with simple recipes for each region. Then at the end of each unit, students could have a "feast" for that region and the class could make a cookbook. I would suggest making "region committees" so that every family gets to contribute to the feast. You could supply the simple recipe or they could find their own, and then that committee of students would supply the food for the class feast. Sometimes the food that is supplied is a simple fruit...like for Hawaii, it might be a pineapple salad or dessert. Sometimes it is more complicated like Mexican food for the SW.

There are also ABC books for each state from a series called "Discover America State-by-State." The books are written as poetry, but along the side of each page is more in-depth info about the topic mentioned in the verse of poetry. A cuminating project for your class for a certain region might be an ABC book where your students each contribute one page...or you could do this for every region. Then your students would have an ABC books for each region with each student contributing to it.

If you can Skyp, you might also want to Skyp with a forest ranger from Yellowstone, a boat tour director who gives tours of the Everglades, or a lobster fisherman from Maine. Students learn so much from asking people who live in the region questions and also find out about different careers. Also check with parents of your students or even their grandparents. Some people take excellent vacation pictures and can talk about places they have visited.

An end-of-year project might be having your students plan a week's family vacation to a certain region/state/city. They could plan it using the internet...but combining research, math (mileage, budget, cost of hotels, cost of gas, airfare, etc.), art through illustrations, planning the route, when they will stay on the first night after driving all day, a daily schedule, etc. If you plan to do this, you need to prepare a model of how their final project will look and what to include.

Last edited by ConnieWI; 06-19-2013 at 01:44 AM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the great ideas!
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:55 PM
 
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Thank you so much...now I have somewhere to start!


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Love you ideas, ConnieWI....
Old 06-20-2013, 03:29 AM
 
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I'm always looking to make ss more interesting.
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Two More Thoughts...
Old 06-20-2013, 04:40 PM
 
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Try to find Native American legends and tall tales for each region. For example, tall tales about Paul Bunyan work for the Midwest, while tall tales about John Henry work for the SE. Pecos Bill works for the SW, but be careful of the nudity...Pecos fell out his family's covered wagon and was raised by coyotes.

Once your students understand tall tales, they can write their own or write a new tall tale for an existing tall tale character.

Scholastic has some teacher resources for tall tales. I like the reader's theater scripts very much. You can also take existing tall tales (like Steven Kellogg's books) and use them for read alouds or make them into reader's theater scripts.

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National Geographic Publishing has a set of five books for each region. Each of these books can be ordered as a single copy or a six-pack. This is what my third grade uses as social studies material. The reading levels of these books vary so they would meet the needs of fourth graders.

One set of books tells the history of the region.
The Midwest: Its History and People
The Northeast: Its History and People
The Southeast: Its History and People
The Southwest: Its History and People
The West: Its History and People

One set of books has legends and tall tales.
Folktales of the Midwest
Folktales of the Northeast
Folktales of the Southeast
Folktales of the Southwest
Folktales of the West

One set of books focuses on the landforms, economy, and customs of each region.
Explore the Midwest
Explore the Northeast
Explore the Southwest
Explore the Southeast
Explore the West

The fourth set of books tells about wonderful things to see and do in that region.
The Midwest Today
The Northeast Today
The Southwest Today
The Southeast Today
The West Today

The fifth set of books are an easier read and a good overview of each region. This is book my third grade uses to introduce the region, but is also used a great deal for our more needy students.
Explore the Midwest
Explore the Northeast
Explore the Southwest
Explore the Southeast
Explore the West

There are teacher resource materials on-line for each book, so a teacher's edition can just be downloaded and printed at no cost.

My third graders also use Map Essentials from the same publisher as their map skill materials. This is also a wonderful resource.

Last edited by ConnieWI; 06-20-2013 at 05:28 PM..
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Here is an idea
Old 06-21-2013, 04:38 PM
 
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Walk Two Moons By Sharon Creech - it is my favorite book, I first read it in 5th grade. Make sure you read it first so you get the underlining messages and the sentistive topic (loss of family members). It has good humor as the 10 year old girl travels across the country - stopping at different places along the way.
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Check these titles
Old 06-21-2013, 08:28 PM
 
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Some of these may fit your needs.

Little House in The Big Woods
Sarah Plain and Tall
Caddie Woodlawn
The Birchbark House
Maude March
Jim Ugly
The Missing Gator of Gumbo Limbo
Holes
Stone Fox
Because of Winn Dixie
Trouble River
Where The Red Fern Grows
When You Reach Me
The Sign of the Beaver
A Paradise Called Texas
Esperanza Rising
The Watsons Go To Birmingham
Julie of the Wolves
Old Yeller
Turtle in Paradise
Ben and Me
Out of the Dust
My Daniel
Bud, Not Buddy
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Consider Picture Books
Old 06-21-2013, 08:51 PM
 
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Here are a few to preview.


Stringbean’s Trip to The Shining Sea
Apples to Oregon
The Scrambled States of The United States
America The Beautiful
The Flag We Love
This Land Is Your Land
The River Runs Wild
The Blue and The Gray
Mailing May
Teammates
If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620
George vs. George
Pink and Say
Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky
The Story of Ruby Bridges
By The Dawn’s Early Light : The Story of The Star Spangled Banner
Baseball Saved Us
Harvesting Hope : The Story of Cesar Chavez
The Tree That Wouldn’t Die
The Armadillo From Amarillo
Knots on a Counting Rope
Grandpa’s Journey
The Wall
Reaching For the Moon
The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers
Polar, The Titanic Bear
When I Was Young in the Mountains
John, Paul, George and Ben
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:24 AM
 
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Wow! What a great list of resources!
We also read Sarah, Plain and Tall. The kids really loved it. Many of them continued through the series.
Jean Craighead George-We read two of her books:
The Missing Gator of Gumbo Limbo: Florida Everglades setting. And There's an Owl in the Shower: California Woodlands
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Poetry?
Old 06-22-2013, 08:17 AM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/068...T5NMXVHF566H77

Found this poetry anthology and thought it might fit your needs well.
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Washington, D. C.
Old 06-22-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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While teaching regions, you will want to talk about our national capital, how laws are made, the job of our president, Congress, and Supreme Court, citizenship, and the importance of voting.

The Wall by Eve Bunting
House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter Barnes
Woodrow, the White House Mouse by Peter Barnes
You Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery by Jacqueline Weltzman
A Visit to Washington, D. C. by Jill Krementz
The Story of the White House by Kate Waters
Vote! by Eileen Christelow
The Christmas Tree in the White House by Gary Hines

The Day Gogo Went to Vote by Elinor Sisulu (This book is about voting in South Africa, but it gives students the feeling for how important voting can be. It makes a great compare/contrast lesson when compared with a book about voting rights in the U.S.)

You might also want to find some books on blacks and women getting the right to vote in the United States...and biographies about people famous for promoting voting rights for women and blacks.
Papa's Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert
The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully

Last edited by ConnieWI; 06-22-2013 at 02:46 PM..
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Northeast Books
Old 06-22-2013, 02:26 PM
 
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The Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Steven Kroll

Look for biographies on:
--John Adams
--Louisa May Alcott
--Susan B. Anthony
--Benjamin Banneker
--Clara Barton
--Stan and Jan Berenstain
--Judy Blume
--Daniel Boone
--Babe Ruth
--Rachel Carson
--Mary Cassaltt
--Kate DiCamillo
--Tomie DePaola
--Ben Franklin
--Robert Fulton
--Lou Gehrig
--John Hancock
--John F. Kennedy
--Paul Revere
--Eleanor Roosevelt
--Teddy Roosevelt
--Franklin Roosevelt
--Maurice Sendak
--Dr. Seuss
--Marjorie Sharmat
--Harriet Beecher Stowe
--Harriet Tubman
--Gertrude Chandler Warner (wrote Boxcar Children books)
--Walt Whitman

Picture Books:
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (setting is Boston Public Garden)
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (setting is Maine)
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters
Samuel Eaton's Day by Kate Waters
The Lobster Boat
The Seashore Book
Birdie's Lighthouse

Chapter Books:
The Cabin Faced West
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Southeast Books
Old 06-22-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Look for biographies on:
--Henry Aaron
--Lewis and Clark
--Muhammad Ali
--Ray Charles (and listen to his music too)
--Davy Crockett
--Brett Favre (go Packers!!)
--Patrick Henry
--Doc Holiday
--Sam Houston
--Thomas Jefferson
--Casey Jones
--Helen Keller
--Martin Luther King
--Coretta Scott King
--Robert E. Lee
--Joe Lewis
--Abe Lincoln
--Jesse Owens
--Jackie Robinson
--Sequoyah
--Booker T. Washington
--George Washington
--Oprah Winfrey

Tall Tales Characters:
John Henry
Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett
Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs (The sequel is Dust Devil and is set in Montana.)

Picture Books:
Appalachia: Voices of Sleeping Birds
The Rag Coat
Swamp Angel
Mary Geddy’s Day by Kate Waters
Working Cotton

Chapter Books:
The Missing Gator of Gumbo Limbo: an Ecological Mystery by Jean Craighead George
Ahyoka and the Talking Leaves

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