Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Recommended Grades: 1-5

We all have an inner exclamation mark.  The question is, how do we find it?  The story of the exclamation mark and how it took him a little time to figure out what he wanted to say and how to say it.

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Conventions/Finding Your Inner Self:   Exclamation Mark is an excellent mentor text for two very different topics.  On a surface level, use Exclamation Mark as a mentor text when discussing conventions and end marks in particular.  The font size in the text makes for excellent discussion around the use of the exclamation mark.  On a deeper level, the Exclamation Mark is a metaphor for finding your inner self and sharing it with the world.

©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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One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

Recommended Grades: 3-5

What would you do if you met your ideal pet?  Elliot asks his father if he can have a penguin during a visit to the aquarium.  This begins a silly tale of an irresistible friendship. 

Lesson Idea:  


Six Traits Mentor Text/Conventions or Organization: Read aloud One Cool Friend and discuss how the author/illustrator modeled the use of dialogue.  The author actually uses dialogue bubbles embedded within the text.  Additionally, this book would be a great model text for surprise endings.

©2012 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 Web Files by Margie Palatini

May Theme:  Conventions

For the first half of 2011, I will take time to focus on picture books that you can use with each of the Six Traits of Writing.  Each month will be dedicated to a new trait.

December 2010 – Ideas

January 2011 – Organization

February 2011 – Voice

March 2011 – Word Choice

April 2011 – Sentence Fluency

This month’s theme is Conventions.  What would a copy editor need to do to prepare the piece for publication?

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Web Files, The is the story of two Ducktectives trying to solve a case.  Ducktective Web and his partner, Bill, have been called to the farm. All of the vegetables are vanishing! Will they be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?

Note: This is one of my favorite resources to use to model the use of conventions to students.  This was originally posted on Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books on May 18, 2009.

Lesson idea: Read the book aloud once to your students. Discuss what would happen if the book did not have conventions. Provide an excerpt of the book with the punctuation marks removed as a model for the whole class. Read each sentence and think aloud for the students as you determine the punctuation marks that are necessary. After, provide another excerpt with the punctuation marks removed for the students to work on with a partner.  Eventually, have students edit writing pieces for missing conventions.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about sentence fluency or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

©2011 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 Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage without Apostrophes by Lynne Truss

May Theme:  Conventions

For the first half of 2011, I will take time to focus on picture books that you can use with each of the Six Traits of Writing.  Each month will be dedicated to a new trait.

December 2010 – Ideas

January 2011 – Organization

February 2011 – Voice

March 2011 – Word Choice

April 2011 – Sentence Fluency

This month’s theme is Conventions.  What would a copy editor need to do to prepare the piece for publication?

Recommended Grades: 3-5

The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage without Apostrophes! is part of a series of books on conventions (see last week’s post).  This particular book is specifically about the use of apostrophes and how apostrophes change meaning depending on whether they are placed in a sentence.  A fun read that will often make kids laugh out loud. 

Lesson idea:  Read aloud this book and discuss the use of apostrophes.  Model how to determine where to put an apostrophe in several sentences that you provide.  Have students write their own set of sentences that need apostrophes.  Have them switch with a partner and edit the sentences for apostrophes.  Have students independently write and illustrate sentence pairs placing the apostrophe or removing it to change the meaning.  Compile all student sentence pairs into a class book to place in your writing center as a resource for editing.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about sentence fluency or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

©2011 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.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! by Lynne Truss

May Theme:  Conventions

For the first half of 2011, I will take time to focus on picture books that you can use with each of the Six Traits of Writing.  Each month will be dedicated to a new trait.

December 2010 – Ideas

January 2011 – Organization

February 2011 – Voice

March 2011 – Word Choice

April 2011 – Sentence Fluency

This month’s theme is Conventions.  What would a copy editor need to do to prepare the piece for publication?

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! is part of a series of books on conventions.  This particular book is specifically about the use of commas and how commas change meaning depending on their placement in a sentence.  A fun read that will often make kids laugh out loud. 

Lesson idea:  Read aloud this book and discuss the use and placement of commas.  Model how to determine where to put a comma in several sentences that you provide.  Have students write their own set of sentences that need a comma.  Have them switch with a partner and edit the sentences for commas.  Have students independently write and illustrate sentence pairs moving the comma to change the meaning.  Compile all student sentence pairs into a class book to place in your writing center as a resource for editing.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about sentence fluency or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

©2011 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.