The Mouse and the Meadow by Chad Wallace

Publisher: Dawn Publications

Date: January 26, 2014

Recommended Grades: 4-6

An informational book written in rhyme tells the story of a mouse in the meadow and the other animals who live there. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Narrative Nonfiction/Word Choice:  Read aloud The Mouse and the Meadow in a study on habitats in a meadow.  Discuss how the author shares information in a narrative way.  Consider using The Mouse and the Meadow as a mentor text in writer’s workshop.  After a study of habitats, ask students to write a narrative nonfiction piece emulating The Mouse and the Meadow.

Additionally, the language the author uses brings the story alive.  Discuss how the author’s word choice helps develop the story while remaining true to the scientific concepts developed in the story.

Finally, Dawn Publications has created an interactive app to go along with the book.  Download the app and watch the animals become 3-D as it reads aloud the story.  It’s a pretty neat experience.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport

Recommended Grades:4-6

A great picture book biography on the life of Theodore Roosevelt.  The author effortlessly weaves actual quotes by Theodore Roosevelt throughout the story to build on the context of his life.  

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Biography Study:  Read aloud To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt about the life of Theodore Roosevelt as part of a study on Theodore Roosevelt.  Pair this with The Camping Trip that Changed America and What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! to round out the study of Theodore Roosevelt’s life.  Both books are biographical in nature about a specific period in Teddy Roosevelt’s life.  Or, use To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt as a mentor text in a craft study on biography.

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits

Recommended Grades:3-5

Kyle is dreading his first trip aboard the school bus, but his big brother James is an expert.  James gives Kyle ten rules for riding the bus if he wants to avoid getting laughed at or yelled at, pushed around, or even pounded.  

Lesson Idea:


Six Traits Mentor Text: Organization:  Read aloud Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus and discuss the organization style of the author (a list of sorts).  Let students choose the topic or provide them with a content area for which to write a list.  Encourage students to mimic the style in a piece of writing, perhaps “Ten Rules to Survive Recess” or “Ten Rules to Survive the Cafeteria.”

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Sophie’s Fish by A.E. Cannon

Recommended Grades:3-5

How hard can it be to babysit a fish?  That’s what Jake thinks when Sophie asks him to take care of Yo-Yo for the weekend.  Then Jake starts to over think what it means to take care of a fish. 

Lesson Idea:


Six Traits Mentor Text: Organization:  Read aloud Sophie’s Fish as part of a unit on the craft of endings.  Sophie’s Fish is a great example of a surprise ending, but the illustrator shares the surprise, not the author.  Read aloud other mentor texts that demonstrate surprise endings.  Encourage students to write a surprise ending for one of their writing pieces.      

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock

Recommended Grades: 3-5

In 1903, John Muir invited President Theodore Roosevelt to join him on a camping trip to discuss the nation’s unprotected wilderness.  A little-known slice of history that forever shaped America’s wilderness. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Narrative Nonfiction:  Prior to reading aloud The Camping Trip that Changed America, activate student’s background knowledge on national parks, or protected lands.  Read aloud The Camping Trip that Changed America and discuss how President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir developed a plan to save America’s wilderness.  Encourage students to continue researching specific national parks they are interested in learning more about.

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Not the Quitting Kind by Sarra J. Roth

Publication Date: February 10, 2014

Publisher: Peter Pauper Press

Recommended Grades:K-2

A rhyming story of sticking to something when faced with mistakes or failures. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Perseverance:  Read aloud Not the Quitting Kind and discuss the concept of perseverance with your students.  What is the author’s message in the book?  Why is this an important message for children to learn?  Provide a challenging activity for students to engage in to demonstrate the act of perseverance.  Encourage students to stick to it as they work through the challenge.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

A Storm Called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg

Recommended Grades:3-5

Set in August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, Uhlberg tells the fictional story of ten year old Louis Daniel and his family’s fight for survival. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Writers Workshop:  Read aloud A Storm Called Katrina.  Pair it with Two Bobbies:A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival.  Ask students to choose a historical time period to write a historical fiction picture book similar to A Storm Called Katrina or Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival.

©2014 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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