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.

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One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies

Recommended Grades: 2-4

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. 

A Loggerhead turtle at the North Carolina Aquarium, Kure Beach, NC
A Loggerhead turtle at the North Carolina Aquarium, Kure Beach, NC

     

Lesson Idea:  


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?

©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.

George: George Washington, Our Founding Father by Frank Keating

Recommended Grades: 4-6

A first person telling of the more important events in George Washington’s life is told woven with quotes from his “Rules of Civility.”

Lesson Idea:

Memoir-esque:


Mentor Texts: Several recent books weave quotes from the person into the story.  This is a great model for students to use in their own writing.  Read aloud George: George Washington, Our Founding Father (Paula Wiseman Books) and discuss how he used his “Rules of Civility” to guide his character.  How did the author effectively weave Washington’s actual rules into the story? Read aloud other books, like Martin’s Big Words or Imogene’s Last Stand that effectively use quotes woven through story as model texts.  Have students use the models to guide their own writing.       

©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.