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.

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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.

Curious Critters by David FitzSimmons

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Portraits of a range of remarkable, bizarre, and often amusing creatures commonly found throughout North America with information related to the reader told from their point of view!


Lesson Idea:

Nonfiction Poetry Writing

Writer’s Workshop Mentor Text/Point of View: Read aloud Curious Critters and discuss how the author took true information and told it through poems.  Each critter shares his story from his point of view using onomatopoeia and other poetic elements.  Actual photographs of the animals complete the text.  Provide time for students to write nonfiction poems about a topic.  Encourage them to take/use photographs to go along with their poetry.     

©2013 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.

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick

Recommended Grades: 4-8

According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, from the 1860’s until the1940’s, there were twenty-nine baseball teams made up entirely of brothers.  The Acerras played longer than any other.  This is their story. 

Lesson Idea:  


Biography/Narrative Nonfiction:  Read aloud Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team discuss the author’s craft.  The author actually had an opportunity to interview two of the brothers and interspersed their quotes into this narrative nonfiction piece.  This book could certainly be used in a study of the history of baseball and you could pair it with We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

©2013 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.

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Snow in Vermont is as common as dirt.  Why would anyone want to photograph it? But from the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley thinks of the icy crystals as small miracles, and he determines that one day his camera will capture for others their extraordinary beauty. 

Lesson Idea:  


Embedded Nonfiction Mentor Text: Read aloud Snowflake Bentley and discuss how the author told a story, but embedded true information throughout.  Use this book as a model for students as they write their own informational pieces.  Perhaps students can write in narrative form with true information embedded throughout.

©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.