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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mentor Text of the Week- The Beetle Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

In an attempt to get more minilessons into the hands of dedicated (but strapped for time) educators, I have dedicated a portion of my website/blog

to the Mentor Text of the Week (MTOW).  Each week, I will choose an accessible mentor texts and give you the following:

  • The tittle, author, and illustrator
  • The text type (as related to the Common Core) and genre
  • The grades to which it would fit met appropriately
  • Various minilessons that could be used at different stages of the writing process
Please feel free to check back each week as well as follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DEInstitute for updates.  Enjoy!



This week's text is...
The Beetle Alphabet Book 
by Jerry Pallotta, 
Illustrated by David Biedrzycki

This text is an informational/nonfiction piece of text, most appropriate for grades 2-5.




Possible Minilessons for Writing Workshop:

  • Clever dedication ("Thanks to John, Paul, George, Ringo…)
  • Titles of Beatles songs hidden on many beetle illustrations throughout the book                                                                                                                                        (Check out letter I, J, N just to name a few…)
  • ABC structure
  • Diagrams with labels
  • Introduction that speaks to the reader and excites them
  • Domain-specific words woven into the facts
  • ​Eye-popping, bold, close-up illustrations that hook the reader into the text and topic
  • Small topic, perfect for a selecting lesson on choosing topics that are interesting to a reader                                                                                                                   and also researchable
  • Analogies to help reader understand concepts/facts being presented
  • Added in thoughts/opinions of the author 
  • Two page spreads
  • Use of interesting and purposeful punctuation: exclamation points, question marks,                                                                                                             and commas in a series, 
  • ​Perspective in illustrations so the reader can see the world through the beetles' eyes
  • Varied sentence length, beginnings, and types of sentences (exclamatory, interrogative, declarative)
  • Voice/Humor/Talking to the reader that connects the facts on the page to everyday situations
  • Interesting, surprising, silly, and new facts about animals the reader may already know
  • Illustrations  that allow reader to truly comprehend the size of the beetles (actual sizes are shown in the shadow of each letter)