Mentor Text Linky~~Social Studies

I have SO much I need to be doing to prepare for this next week at school. This sums it up:

 I did have to take the time to join up with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly linky.

I'm sharing the book Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust by Eve Bunting. This is an incredible story of what happens when you stand by and do nothing. It opens up the discussion about being a bystander. The book is set in the forest and all the animals are happily going about their daily lives. One day these dark shadows, called the Terrible Things, come and take one group of animals. The other animals say things like "just be glad it isn't us" and turn their backs. Eventually, the shadows take away each group of animals until only the rabbits are left. The shadows come one last time again and finally take them away. Little Rabbit escapes and he runs away to warn the other creatures about the Terrible Things.

This book is appropriate for upper grades, but I have used it with my third graders. You can use it to introduce a study of the Holocaust or as a just a discussion about tolerance, bullying, or being a bystander. The story is very engaging with black and white drawings that are, I have to say, a little creepy. 

After reading, we have a group discussion. Here are some questions I might ask:
*How did the animals get along before the Terrible Things came into the forest?
*What could they have done to protect themselves?
*Do the animals know what the Terrible Things are?
*How do the animals explain why each group is chosen to be taken away?
*What is Little Rabbit going to do? Do you think the other creatures will believe him?
*What message is the author trying to teach?

As a follow-up to the discussion, I assign groups the task of creating a poster with advice that Little Rabbit should give the other creatures he is warning. I think you will find this a deep, memorable story for you kids.


  1. Hi! I found your blog through the SS mentor text linky. I love this book!! I teach first, so it wouldn't be appropriate for my class, but I think it's a brilliant way to introduce a hard topic to older students. Thanks for sharing!

    Teacher at the Wheel

  2. I love Eve Bunting and must get this one to read this summer. While I will not use it with my second graders, I do miss the texts I used with my fifth graders at times... Thanks so much for sharing this.

    All the best--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  3. I will have to check this book out to see if my 2nd graders could handle it. I like the idea of tying it into bullying/bystanders. Thanks!!

    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

  4. I've never heard of this book, but I love Eve Bunting, so I know I'd love this! Wow! Sounds great!
    ideas by jivey

    1. Agreed! I must check this books out! Thanks for sharing, Gina.
      Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  5. OMG! This book looks incredible! I love Eve (I like to pretend we're friends) and I've never seen this one! Thank you so much for introducing me to it!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. Oh, yay, yay, yay! Adding it to my list. If you read my post, you know that I am fully integrating SS into my ELA block next year and this will be perfect for my list. If you have others that fit this topic I would love for you to add to my list. I have a list of topics on my post that I need help with, as I have never taught SS before and have been begging teachers to make suggestions for me. :)
    So excited that I clicked over and found this suggestion. :) Thanks!
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  7. I love Eve Bunting! I have never heard of this book but it sounds deep and a great way to make that connection. It kind of gave me the chills just reading your description! I will have to check this out for sure!!

    Thanks for linking up! As always, you know the best books!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. Wow, what a great way to introduce a hard topic to talk about. Thank you for sharing.

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road


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