Have you ever wondered which books have settings within your state? I was curious about this, so I pulled together a list of books set in Virginia. After all, I teach fourth graders, and Virginia history is what we teach in social studies.
Books set in virginia
When I think of books that are set in Virginia, there are a few book titles that pop in my mind. However, after researching some, I discovered a few more. Here are a few that I know you’ll be familiar with, but do you notice anything?
- Bridge to Terebithia
- Blood on the River
- Flip-Flop Girl
- Grandpa’s Mountain
- Shades of Gray
These are all chapter books, but I was actually hunting for a picture book, so can you guess which I went with? I decided to go with one of my old favorites, The Relatives Came.
Cynthia Rylant is from West Virginia, and several of her books, When I was Young in the Mountain, Night in the Country, and The Relatives Came are autobiographical. If you are not be familiar with The Relatives Came, the gist is that the Virginia relatives travel to West Virginia across the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit the West Virginia relatives for a family reunion. I just love the reunion scene with all the kissing and hugging.
The typical family reunion talk sticks with you. “Oh my, you’ve gotten so big!” “Look how you’ve grown?” Even now, I hear that when we travel home with my own children. How about yours? I’m sure you can connect with that too.
Why it was important to me to find books set in virginia
Another reason I love The Relatives Came is because I live very near the Blue Ridge Mountains, and that’s the drive we take to see our family in Iowa. This picture is of my parents with our two when we visited Holden Beach, North Carolina a few years ago. We lost my dad two and a half years ago, so this is a special picture. We have such fond memories of that week together. My parents have made many trips to Virginia through those mountains, as have we. I’m thinking we’ve even packed sandwiches and grape soda pop. Ha!
The Relatives Came, one of the books set in Virginia
During reading, students record information to tell about the beginning, middle and end. Question task cards are included for group discussion if the teacher uses the book for partner work or in guided reading. There is also a cause and effect page as well using text examples for discussions.
Before reading, students participate in a schema builder (Give One, Get One) about the students’ relatives as well as preteaching vocabulary and characterization. All of my units are organized in a Before, During, After format, and you get both digital and pdf versions.
Your kids will enjoy the Give One, Get One activity. It’s very engaging and active, and it get the kids warmed up for the story and lesson on characterization.
Finally, there are written responses that the teacher can use to extend learning and deepen comprehension. The writing prompt gives the students an opportunity to reflect on Cynthia Rylant’s writing style as they write their own Family Road Trip story.
Get the resource:
Cynthia Rylant Author Study
Cynthia Rylant is a great author to teach if you’re working on books set in Virginia, and you can include all three of the titles mentioned in your unit. The bundle includes units for the books, Snow, In November, Scarecrow, The Relatives Came, When I was Young in the Mountain, The Great Gracie Chase, Silver Packages, All in a Day, All I See and Christmas in the Country. If you prefer to shop on TPT, you can catch these two units HERE.
other related posts you might like:
There are other Virginia related posts on my site you might want to check out. Here are the links to get you started:
- SIMPLE WAYS TO USE CYNTHIA RYLANT’S BOOKS AS MENTOR TEXTS
- ENGAGING ACTIVITIES AND BOOKS ABOUT FALL YOU’LL LOVE
- 10 FUN WAYS TO USE A POEM OF THE WEEK
Virginia is a wonderful place to visit. You’ll find hikes in the mountains, festivals in the Piedmont, and lots of waves at the beach. We have called Virginia home since 1990, and I think we’re here til the end.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing more soon.