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.

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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.

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Recommended Grades: K-5

Some people collect coins, some collect stamps, but Jerome collects words.  Words that transform, connect, and empower.  This is a celebration of finding your own words and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text; Six Traits of Writing – Word Choice:  Peter H. Reynolds books are always whimsical and inviting to young readers.  The Word Collector is no different.  Read aloud this book to provide students with an opportunity to realize that they too, can collect words in their writer’s notebooks.  And use the story to empower them to share those collected words with the world through their writing.

©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.

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.