Mentor Text Linky - Blackberry Subway Jam

Linking up with the super awesome ladies (even if they are on summer vacation and I am not) at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky!

This week's theme - social studies. I am suggesting to you the book Jonathan Cleaned Up - Then He Heard a Sound or Blackberry Subway Jam  by Robert Munsch (I know what you are thinking, you're thinking...I can't believe she is suggesting another Robert Munsch book  but seriously it is a fun book!)

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Jonathan's efforts to keep his apartment clean are foiled when a subway unexpectedly stops in and unloads thousands of passengers. Jonathan sets out on a surprising adventure to solve this curious problem.

That's right the subway stops in his apartment!! His adventure leads him to the mayor's office.

I had never heard of this book before I read the title in a suggested book list for my Urban and Rural Communities unit and that is what I use it for. I use this book as a launch for the urban part of the unit. We read the book and talk about all the aspects of the story that identify the setting as urban - large apartment buildings, a mayor, lots of people, a subway (I teach in a rural community).

I also use this book as a launch for my cityscape art. I love any art that involves making a cityscape. I do at least one a year (yes, o.k. sometimes I do more than one - and my co-workers make fun of me because of it).

Here are some that I have done (pictures from Pinterest, not my class, this year we did Multiplication City Art)


When teaching urban and rural communities I also like to do the following activities:

1. Compare the 2 types of communities (using the activity from the now defunct Ministry of Ed. exemplars )

Sample pictures from the Ministry of Ed's Exemplars document.

2. Simple diorama project using two large circles cut from tag paper, folded in half and glued back to back - one side is an urban community the other rural - students have gotten very creative with this in the past.

The other project is an urban and rural photo essay - students pick one type of community and take photos that prove it is an urban or rural community, add captions and sentences explaining the role of the item in the community.

3. Community Flips - we make these on 11x17 paper. Students draw a picture and record information about the type of community or area on the inside flap.

 Sorry for the pictures, you know when you think you have your files on your memory stick, only to find out they are not, they are only in your school file!!! If you are interested in any of the rubrics or project outlines I would be happy to send you a copy - when I get to school!!

Have a great Sunday - I'm off to find more books to add to the list!!


  1. I have never heard of this book before, but it looks like such a great book. I love the idea of adding artwork into your unit. I'm not very good at doing that...something I want to work on this summer.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I'd love a copy of your rubrics/outlines! No rush...the three types of communities is our first social studies unit. I am always looking for new ideas for cementing the ideas with my students.

    Love your cityscapes, too!

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  3. These look amazing and I've never heard of this book. Great suggestion. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. I would love a copy of your rubrics/outlines. I am new to third grade and am always looking for great activities!


  5. I love Robert Munsch books and so do the kids.

    Those community flip books are a great idea!

  6. These are all great ideas! I can't wait to teach the urban/rural unit next year and include these new activities!

  7. This looks like a great book. Living in a rural area my students sometimes have a difficult time coming up with a mental image fo urban areas, so this book would be great for us! Thanks for sharing!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  8. New book for me! Yay! I love that you incorporate art in your classroom-those cityscapes are a great idea!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  9. This is a great idea- when it comes to anything outside of our own "town," a lot of my students have no clue- they don't really leave. I'm always looking for books that can give them some mental images to hold onto. Thanks!
    ideas by jivey

  10. Thanks so much for sharing! I enjoyed reading your post and learning how you use this text with your kids. I must get a copy, as I have not seen this one before...

    Have a wonderful week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  11. I have never heard of this book (surprise surprise) but it looks neat and I love Robert Munsch. I get very jealous when I see all the fun art projects that you do because that is definitely one thing that we don't do enough of in class. There just doesn't seem to be enough time. I love learning about all of these fun books from you!

    Do you have today off?
    Collaboration Cuties

  12. Oh my! What FABULOUS ideas for teaching urban and rural communities! Like others have said, it's hard for kids to imagine communities that are different than their own. I think this book will help visualize what different communities are like. Question: Does this book have 2 titles??

    Teacher at the Wheel


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