Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Mentor Text Must Read: Historical Fiction

During the summer I spend a lot of time reflecting.  I'm a busy mom of three little ones and am constantly on the go, but whenever I get a chance, I sit down and think about the read alouds I did during the year and which ones were amazing and which ones don't need an encore.

I'd love to hear some suggestions from you too! Please let us know your favorite historical fiction mentor texts in the comments below!

One I HAVE to share with you is the book, Rose Blanche, by Christophe Gallaz.
This past school year was the first time I picked up this book and I COULD NOT put it down! If you teach historical fiction, this is the perfect picture book for you.  The author takes you on a journey through the injustices of the Holocaust in Germany. The character notices the horrific changes around her which lead to a dramatic ending!  In order for my students to get anything out of the book, I had to build their background knowledge.  We spent numerous days completing a Think-Puzzle-Explore (more to come about that soon!) activity where students where in charge of their own questions and exploration about the time period.  Once I felt they had a deep grasp on the time period, I started my read aloud. The reading strategy I was focusing on was inferential thinking (if you don't teach historical fiction, this book leads itself perfectly to inferring).  I was blown away with the inferences my students were making! It was imperative for them to build their background knowledge before reading the story because it dramatically increased their understanding of the story (just something to think about if you do choose to use it). Every single page lead to a deep discussion- my students were intrigued, fascinated, engaged, and outraged about the TRUE events within the story. This book is filled with drama, distinct tone, emotions, and will leave your students begging for more.  I won't spoil it for you, but the end will leave your class in an uproar and they will be begging to discuss, question, and read it again! 

Don't forget to let us know your favorite historical fictions mentor texts in the comments below! Thanks for reading! :)



2 comments:

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