Mentor Text: Social Studies Read Alouds

I'm happy to be linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text linky.

After visiting New York City last fall, I discovered a couple really neat books centered around this wonderful place! They fit in nicely as read alouds during social studies.

The first one is called The Subway Sparrow (Sunburst Book) by Leyla Torres. It is about a small sparrow that flies into a subway car and is trapped. The people in the car, who normally ride in silence, are forced to communicate to help the bird. They work together to save the sparrow and along the way develop an understanding of each other and an appreciation for the need to communicate even though they speak different languages. This was a nice fit as a read aloud in our study of cultures. My kids did a nice job predicting how the passengers would get the little bird out of the car.

One of my MOST favorite places in NYC is the Brooklyn Bridge. I found two books that went along with our study of United States regions and are good informational text. I found them to be pretty interesting as well.
Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing is the story of how P.T. Barnum used 21 of his circus elephants to prove that the Brooklyn Bridge was as strong as the builders said it was! True story! My kids were fascinated by this read aloud.


The Brooklyn Bridge: The story of the world's most famous bridge and  the remarkable family that built it. (Wonders of the World Book) is the story of John Roebling and his dream to build this great bridge. He spent 15 years convincing people that his idea for the bridge would work. When they finally started construction, he died in a freak accident. His family continued his dream. The series of Wonders of the World Books are great for teaching text features, as well as very informative.

These books made a nice addition to my classroom library and the kids enjoyed learning a little about New York did I!!


  1. Very interesting! I have never heard of 21 Elephants, but it sounds fascinating! Thanks for sharing. Hope you are having a great year. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Wow! I would love to go to NYC! I've never heard of these books! The elephant one especially looks fascinating! I will have to check them out! I'm so glad you linked up friend! Happy Easter!

  3. You make the BEST book recommendations - I'm definitely checking these out. Thanks for sharing your brilliant ideas!

  4. Twenty-One Elephants is a book I hadn't heard of. Thanks for sharing! It looks like an interesting story. Have a great week!
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