One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole

Recommended Grades: 2-5

From a tall tree growing in the forest to the checkout counter at the grocery store, one little bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy on the eve of his first day of school.  And so begins an incredible journey. 

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text: Using Pictures to tell a Story:  One Little Bag (April 7, 2020, Scholastic) is a beautiful, wordless picture book.  Share the story with students and discuss the sequence of events as shown through pictures.  This incredible story transports the reader through three generations of one family and the much-loved bag they reused again and again. Ask students to put words to the pictures and write a story based on the pictures.

Just in time for Earth Day, One Little Bag includes a full page author’s note about Henry Cole’s own experience celebrating his first Earth Day and reusing a brown paper bag over 700 times.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Scholastic in exchange for a review.  

©2020 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.

Truth or Lie Series by Erica Perl

Recommended Grades: 2-4

Touted as 75% Truth + 25% Lies = 100% FUN! This new series makes the game “2 Truths and a Lie” educational!

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text: Determine Importance:  On one page in this early reader science series, Erica Perl provides readers with four statements about a topic.  Readers are asked to determine which one of the four statements is a lie.  The next page reveals the answer and provides detailed information about the true statements.  This series is a great mentor for students to determine importance in a text.  After reading texts about a different topic, students could use these texts as a model in order to write their own “Truth or Lie” book to demonstrate their understanding.

©2019 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.

Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating

Recommended Grades: 3-5

A nonfiction picture book all about pink animals.  Keating describes the animal, shares an interesting fact or story about each one, and provides scientific data for each animal. 

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text; Six Traits of Writing – Organization:  Pink is for Blobfish is a great mentor text for organization and structure.  Read aloud the book to students during a study of animals.  Have them create their own scientific notebooks to include scientific data such as the name of the animal, the species name, size, diet, habitat, and predators or threats.

©2019 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.

Islandborn by Junot Díaz

Recommended Grades: 3-5

When Lola is asked to draw a picture of where her family emigrated from, she becomes worried because she can’t remember the Island.  But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories, Lola is able to go on an imaginary journey back to the Island.  

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text; Six Traits of Writing – Idea Development:  Islandborn is a fantastic mentor text to help students develop idea seeds in their writer’s notebook.  After reading it aloud to students, have them brainstorm memories that are important to them about family and friends.

This is also a mentor text in The Storyteller’s Project.  Click on the link to find out more!

©2019 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.

Snow Sisters! Two Sisters, One Snowy Day by Kerri Kokias

Recommended Grades: 2-5

Just like snowflakes, no two sisters are alike.  The heroines enjoy a snow day in their own unique ways independently, but then reunite for a surprise! 

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text; Six Traits of Writing – Word Choice:  The use of clear, succinct language, coupled with beautiful illustrations makes Snow Sisters! an excellent model for teaching word choice. Read through the story and ask students what they notice about the use of language and the organization of the text.  How do the pictures enhance the minimal text?

©2018 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.