Mentor Text - Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt

I am happy to be linking up with Amanda and Stacia the amazing ladies over at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky. THIS week's theme is Social Studies.

The book I am talking about is Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker. I use this book during our Early Settlers unit and it is one of many "quilt" books we read.

This is the story of Selina and her family who leave the United States during the American Civil War. Her family is Mennonite and do not believe in conflict. Her family travels from Pennsylvania to Upper Canada. Unfortunately her grandmother does not make the trip with them but does send along a quilt for Selina with little bits of their family history - the Bear Paw Quilt.

I love this book because each picture has a quilt pattern frame. I love to use this book as a basis  for math/art based on the patterns.

I love this book because it details why people moved to Upper Canada and is a good starting point for talking about the difficult choices people had to make and how they travelled and how they had to start over in a new place.

I love this book because it shows the importance of quilts - as a way to reuse material and as a form of storytelling.

I love this book because the family moved to the area where I teach and it is based on a true story so the kids always love that! That being said I think that this is a great book for Americans teaching about the Civil War too!!!!

I love this book because when we are finished every student makes one Bear Paw quilt square and we make a bulletin board and it looks awesome. This is a picture of a real quilt - I don't have a picture of  our quilt from last year.

This is however of picture of me many, many moons ago (as in those kids are heading to university)reading the story with my class with an actual Bear Paw Quilt from the local quilters guild, we were the first class to have the quilt visit our class so they took our picture for the paper.

Here is a little question package I use with this book. Click on the picture to pick up a free copy.

Can't wait to see all the great books being linked up this week. I love, love, love this linky!!


  1. This is so incredibly sweet! I love the picture of your reading with an actual quilt. Such a special picture and a special book! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Sounds like a great book! I'm so glad to see social studies be taught with literature, as opposed to textbooks, even for older students.

    Literacy Spark

  3. I have been looking for a way to work quilts into my Civil War unit. I think I just found my solution. Thank you!


  4. This looks like a great book! I am definitely going to use it with my Civil War unit next year!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I must add this one to my collection... :0) Love quilt stories!

    Have a great week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  6. Wow! Students making their own quilt. That's awesome. I'm going to see if our library has this book tomorrow.

    School Is a Happy Place

  7. What a sweet story!! I do love quilt stories!! I love that you have a picture from the newspaper! So fun!!!

    As always, thanks for sharing a book that I've not heard of!! I like learning about new books!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. I've never heard of this book, but it looks great! Now I've got another great read to add to my summer shopping list!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  9. It was a mindblowing story!! enjoyed reading it!


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