Feathers aren’t just for flying. . . In this scrapbook-like nonfiction picture book, Stewart introduces sixteen types of birds and compares their feathers to everyday objects teaching readers just how practical their feathers can be.
Mentor Text: Writer’s Craft: Before sharing Feathers: Not Just for Flying as a mentor text, read aloud the author’s note. In it, Stewart shares how she researches for her books and develops the concepts that make her books more engaging. Encourage students to use Feathers: Not Just for Flying as a model text when they are researching and writing their own informational texts. Consider both the scrap-book and the comparison models as possible mentors for students.
A great informational text about the honey bee, the planet’s greatest pollinator and one of nature’s most important creatures.
Mentor Text: Nonfiction Picture Book/Comparing Information: Read aloud Flight of the Honey Bee(a Maryland Black Eyed Susan nominee) and discuss the role of a honey bee on our planet. Instead of fearing bees, we should do what we can to save them as they are in danger of dying out. Pair the book with the article, “The Plight of the Honeybee” in National Geographic for students to compare information.
Buzz and Fly Guy learn about space in the next installment of this hybrid fiction and nonfiction. This time Buzz and his friend go to the space museum.
Mentor Text: Writer’s Workshop: Share Fly Guy Presents: Space using an ELMO or another projection device. Enlarge the pictures for all to see and discuss how the author takes elements of both fiction and nonfiction to write an interesting story. Use the book as a model text in writer’s workshop where students may be writing informational pieces; perhaps they want to write in the style of Tedd Arnold instead.
The story of “one tiny turtle” and her life cycle in the ocean. The author uses a technique to tell a narrative story, but shares information in a non-traditional way.
Nonfiction Features/Sensory Details: Read aloud One Tiny Turtle and ask students what they notice about the features the author uses. Discuss the differences between the two text types. How does the author’s technique help us to understand the life cycle of Loggerhead turtles? This would also serve as a great mentor text for sensory details in writing. How does the author use sensory details to enhance the story? Could you borrow this technique from the author?
This is a fantastic picture book about seahorses filled with information and written in beautiful language. The author uses similes and makes language choices that bring this informational book to life.
Writer’s Workshop/Six Traits of Writing/Word Choice: Read aloud Seahorses and ask students what they notice about the language. Compare this book to an encyclopedia article about seahorses. What do students notice about word choice and voice in both? Which do they prefer? Have students work on developing their word choice and voice when writing informational texts.