Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart

Feathers: Not Just for Flying is a Maryland Black Eyed Susan Award nominee for 2016.

Recommended Grades:   3-5

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. 

Lesson Idea:

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.

©2016 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.

Frankencrayon by Michael Hall

Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an imprint of Harper Collins

Publication Date: January 26, 2016

Recommended Grades: 3-5

From the author of Red: A Crayon’s Story, comes Frankencrayon, his newest book. In this story, a set of crayons are supposed to “write the story,” but someone or something draws a scribble in the middle of the page. As a result, the picture book has to be canceled.

Lesson Idea:

Mentor Text: Writer’s Craft, Developing Ideas: Read aloud Frankencrayon with a group of upper elementary writers. Discuss how the author uses “a story within a story” structure. Encourage students to try this technique in their own writing.

Additionally, you could pair Frankencrayon with Red: A Crayon’s Story, The Day the Crayons Quit  and The Day the Crayons Came Home, both by Drew Daywalt, as a set of texts in which the main characters are crayons. Encourage students to use an inanimate object as a main character in their own writing.
©2016 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.

My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Born in 1797 to slave parents, Isabella Baumfree was sold several times before being bought by the Dumont family, where she stayed for sixteen years.  After escaping from slavery and living and working in New York City, Isabella chose her own name, Sojourner Truth – for she would always travel and she would always tell the truth.  

Lesson Idea:

Mentor Text: Biography:Personal Narrative: Read aloud My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth as a mentor text for a writing unit on personal narratives.  Note how the author wrote a biography of Sojourner Truth, but wrote it from Truth’s point of view.  Discuss how the author had to conduct research in order to understand Truth’s voice and be able to portray it in this text, including using Truth’s own quotes.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review.

©2015 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.

Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton by Meghan McCarthy

Recommended Grades: 4-6

Betty Skelton wasn’t  your average girl in the 30’s.  While most girls were content to play with their dolls, Betty was playing with her metal plane.  This led to a life filled with breaking records and stereotypes. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Biography/Persistence/Writer’s Workshop:  Read aloud Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton and discuss Betty’s various successes.  How did persistence pay off for her?  Learn more about Betty by reading the back matter.  Use Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton as a mentor text when students are writing biographies.

 

©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.

In New York by Marc Brown

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Part homage to Marc Brown’s beloved hometown and part travel guide, In New York is a great informational picture book about the largest city in the United States.  I especially enjoyed the illustrations and informational blurbs on the inside front and back cover.

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Writer’s Workshop: Pair In New York with A Poem as Big as New York City to show two different mentor texts about New York City. Invite students to write a “travel guide” for their own city or a city/state/country that they might study. Encourage them to use In New York (or A Poem as Big as New York City: Little Kids Write About the Big Apple) as a model text for their own writing.

 

©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.