Many of my wonderful fourth-graders are deemed at-risk. All of them qualify for free breakfast and lunch, but we are not a Title I school. We have all the needs and none of the resources of other schools in our district. Our service area is 1/3 below the per capita income of the rest of our city.
A significant number of my students are dependents of deployed military personnel and do not have the funds for necessary school supplies or frills like books.
My student population is racially and ethnically diverse. One out of every ten children is in a bilingual program, and as a group, we are: 39% Anglo, 14% African American/Black, 16% Alaskan Native and American Indian, 7% Asian, 6% Hispanic, 3% Filipino, and 15% multiracial. We are trying to learn and work together.
Social studies helps students learn skills ranging from reading a map to making an argument. They learn how to assess the validity of evidence, evaluate points and apply facts to making decisions. These are real world skills. My students need nonfiction materials to learn real world skills. I know my students can be successful. They are very excited about learning, but many are reading below grade level or are just learning English. It is often difficult to find materials that they can read. I need 40+ appropriate books about history.
My 4th graders need to learn how to read non-fiction critically and they need well-written, interesting books about different historical periods and events to read and critique.
I am creating a new mini unit on history for my reluctant readers. I plan to use the books from the "What/Who Was" series and the "You Wouldn't Want To" series. Students will choose a book to read and critique. They will take notes in their interactive composition notebooks. The, they will make a poster to sell that book to another student in the group. Over the course of a quarter, each student will read 3 titles. In addition to improving their reading skills, students will be learning about history, note taking and using graphic organizers.
We desperately need new, appealing trade books about social studies.
We currently do not have any books that we can use in our library and cannot afford new books. The books in this project are part two very popular series and were selected by my students. Please help my students learn real life reading and discussion skills by supporting this project.
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