Sunday, October 27, 2013

Must Read Mentor Text: H is for Honor

Today, I'm joining up with Amanda & Stacia from Collaboration Cuties to discuss a must read Social Studies mentor text for Veterans Day. At our school we do a 5th grade celebration for Veterans Day. Students are invited to bring in photographs for a Wall of Fame/Timeline of their friends and family that have served our country plus veterans are invited in for a special breakfast and presentation. Students honor Veterans by reading some special poems and presenting them with a powerful "Just Three Words" video that showcases the meaning of Veterans Day in literally "just three words" by each student.

However, before we can start celebrating on November 11th - we need to prepare by reading some amazing mentor texts. Many of our students have some background about Veterans Day but we do read a short nonfiction piece about how Armistice Day became Veterans Day first. Then students begin their collecting of additional "knowledge" about veterans through the reading of the book, H is for Honor by Devin Scillian.
The book showcases the lives of military families in way that students are able to relate to.  Its presented in alphabet style which makes for a quick and easy read while also providing a wealth of information. Since, we have to collect words for our three words project. We use this book as a spring board for thinking about the importance of veterans in our country's history and in our lives. Here's a snapshot of some of the skills the book covers:
As we read the book the students take notes on their own personal word walls. They collect appropriate words that we could use to honor our veterans in our own poetry and "Just Three Words" video. This book hits so many great vocabulary words that's its perfect for starting your Veterans Day study! I found my personal word walls from A Love for Teaching's Blog. She has a free download on her site or you can click my image below for a blank copy. My Personal Word Wall example: 
We then continue our study and independent reading with some other great books about Veterans Day. Here are a few of my other favorites that relate to this amazing holiday!
Both America's White Table by Margot Theis Raven and Granddad Bud: A Veterans Day Story can be found on Amazon! We use America's White Table to introduce our students to a Remembrance Table which we set up during our celebration for those who are unable to be with us. Granddad Bud's story is great because it's perfect story to introduce students to Veterans Day celebrations and the meaning of Veterans Day because the students in the book have also invited veterans into the classroom.

How do you celebrate Veterans Day in your classroom or at your school?


  1. Aw! My school doesn't really do a whole lot for Veteran's Day but you are the 2nd to post that your school does. That makes me kinda sad but not too sad because I can still do something in my classroom. I have heard of H is for Honor but not the other two books! I will definitely check them out! And I LOVE the 3 words you do for the video! That's always so powerful! Amazing!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  2. I love that your whole school does so much for Veteran's Day - I love the breakfast idea. These alphabet books are a great way to build student's knowledge. Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas for such an important day.

  3. I love this book. Such a great way to teach kids about many topics. I wish our school did more for Veteran's Day. I love that your school does so much. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  4. I have been struggling to come up with Veteran's Day activities....this post was just what I needed! I already put these book on hold at my library! Thanks for the suggestions!


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