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Search tags: Social-Studies
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text 2017-04-08 02:12
The Name Jar
The Name Jar - Yangsook Choi



Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name.  I would love to use this in my classroom to encourage inclusion.  People from different cultures are interesting and not weird.  We should want to get to know them and their culture to better understand them.

5 Stars 

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review 2017-03-20 20:07
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor

This book is part of a several book series on the Logan family. The book takes place during The Great Depression in the deep south. It is about an African American family and their struggle against racism. The main character, Cassie, has to learn the "do's" and "don'ts" that society requires. Because the book is shown through a child's perspective, it really questions and displays the types of injustices that were a common occurrence for the time period. The book may show injustices that people may not normally think about or know to think about. This book is a great example for what life was like as well as what types of social struggles occurred at the time. This book would be a great text to use a reinforcement read for history class for the study of The Great Depression, Black History Month, and feelings on personal heritage. The lexile level is 920L so it could be used around the 5th or 6th grade.

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review 2017-03-20 19:23
Number The Stars by Lois Lowry
Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

This book takes place during WWII. It is about Annemarie, a non Jewish girl, who takes in her Jewish best friend. Annemarie's family is known as the Johansens. The young girl's friend is using the identity of the family's previously deceased daughter. Whenever there is a question concerning the girl's identity, the Johansens show the birth certificate and baby photographs of their deceased daughter. This book highly resembles The Diary of Anne Frank, which as we all know is a true story of a girl who lived during WWII. Number The Stars is another great insight into a life of hiding and fight for life. This was a very memorable story. I actually recall reading this very book for recreational reading. Now looking back, I wish my teachers had done something with this book for academic purposes. A teacher could use this book during literature to reinforce studding about WWII. The lexile reading level for this book is 670L but for academic readings it may be best used for the 5th grade.

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review 2017-03-14 15:47
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

This book takes place during the Civil Rights Movement. It is about two young children, one African-American and the other Caucasian, who becomes friends. Although their friendship was forbidden, it made no difference on how they felt towards each other. This is a wonderful book about how friendships know no boundaries. This book was so memorable that I still remembered this book from the time that I read on my own during elementary school. This book could be used to demonstrate the positive effects of friendship or it would be used as a study text for Black History Month due to the historical factor of the book. It can really show the mind set of the time period as well. The lexile level is 300L so an activity for Social Studies would likely need to be about the 4th grade while activities on friendship would be fine for the 3rd grade.

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review 2017-03-14 15:10
Jake's Orphan by Peggy Brook

I read this book when I was in elementary school and loved it! This book is tolled through the view point of a boy named Tree. The story goes into depth about the struggles of Tree and his love for his younger brother, Acorn. Because they are orphans, their goals and dreams are centered on finding a new home for them. However, their plans get interrupted when only Tree is taken in with a farmer as extra help around the farm.  Before Tree is fostered with this new family, he promises Accorn that he will send for him when possible.The farmer's brother, Jake, gives Tree hope that one day the farm will become his home. However, too much time goes by and Acorn gets impatient. One day Acorn shows up at the farm without warning, which almost ruins everything that Tree has worked so hard for. Read the book for yourself for the ending! But I absolutely loved it! This book would be great to use as recreational reading or for a glimpse in another time for Social Studies. It could also be used to show sibling love and what it is like to grow up as a a child with nontraditional family dynamics. The lexile level is 790L so this book would be appropriate for the 6th grade and above.

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