Sunday, August 25, 2013

You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Mayflower-Mentor Text

Happy Sunday! I'm off to church, but I wanted to link up with Collaboration Cuties and with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching this morning.
When I remember social studies as a kid I have very negative memories. We read from a textbook, did worksheets, and took tests...there was nothing fun or exciting until my 10th grade year. I had a teacher who made history come alive! After taking his class, I knew I wanted my kiddos to enjoy, not dread social studies time.
Using Mentor Text instead of our textbook is one of the ways I like to make it more exciting. You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Mayflower by Peter Cook is a favorite of my students. This book is full of interesting and surprising information about the Mayflower.

You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Mayflower! (Revised Edition)

One thing that I love about this book is that it covers facts that my kiddos didn't learn when they were younger. They know the basic story of the Pilgrims, but this lets them see how hard it really was. I normally share parts of this book with the class and then put it on display for the kids to read during Reading Workshop. It is one of those books that they go back to time and time again!

This book is actually one of the books that inspired me to make my Pilgrim Dice Simulation.

What are your favorite social studies mentor texts? How do you motivate your kiddos to learn?


  1. I have the same boring memories of social studies! You've got me curious with this book, though :) I'd love to read it myself!
    I try to find books for social studies that either lend themselves to students making connections, or books that really pull on their heartstrings- Eve Bunting has so many thought provoking books that work well with social studies topics.
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  2. I love this series! I will have to find this book for when we get to colonization!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. These books are great! My fifth graders used to love these! I used to share this one when we read another great text, Eating the Plates, as a class. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  4. I also love showing them the Charlie Brown special about the Mayflower. It's available on youTube and my kids enjoy watching the gang get sick on ship, shiver through the winter, and meet Squanto. Great fun!

  5. I love the "You Wouldn't Want to be..." books. The kids at my school keep them checked out. The grosser the book, the better! I read a couple out loud they loved it! (Aztec sacrifice and Whaling ship..)
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

  6. My fifth graders loved those books! We read a couple of them last year... my curriculum changed this year so I'm going to get a few that relate our new curriculum like You Wouldn't Want to Be an Aztec Sacrifice (Gross yet AWESOME!) and You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Colonist... there are also another set of books called The Dreadful Smelly Colonies that my fifth graders LOVED last year... unfortunately, we only touch on European exploration and their interaction with native people this year :(....

    My Shoe String Life
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  7. This book looks great! I no longer teach SS, but I do plan on incorporating a lot of SS nonfiction into my reading class and these books will be a great addition. Thanks for the idea!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans