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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mentor Text of the Week- What If You Had Animal Teeth by Sandra Markle

What If You Had Animal Teeth by Sandra Markle
You can click on the title above to purchase the mentor text from
This text is a narrative nonfiction piece of text, most appropriate for grades 2-5.

Possible Minilessons for Writing Workshop:

  • Clever introduction
  • Close up photographs that let the reader really examine the subject
  • Interesting, shocking, and new facts presented to the reader
  • Repetition ("If you had..."
  • Analogies to the reader's own life helping them truly understand the information being presented 
  • Humorous illustrations that make the facts relatable to the reader
  • Illustrations of background reveal clever connections to the topic
  • Extra fact bubble on each page for additional information about the topic
  • Varied sentence lengths
  • Main idea and supporting details
  • List structure
  • Varied sentence beginnings
  • Varied sentence types (questions, statements, exclamations, etc.)
  • Content specific vocabulary introduced 
  • Conclusion that relates the topic to real life and wraps up the text
  • Extra information about the topic ("Where Do Teeth Come From?" and "Teeth Need Care")
  • Photo credits that show the validity of the photographs
  • Clever title

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mentor Text of the Week- Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino

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This text is a personal narrative piece of text, most appropriate for grades K-3.

Possible Minilessons for Writing Workshop:

  • Author's note reveals the inspiration for the idea (a perfect generating idea on "everys" in your life)
  • Two page spreads
  • Background details that allow the reader to get to know the characters and setting more fully
  • Repetitive beginnings "We..."
  • Patterns on clothing for extra detail in illustrations
  • Environmental print makes the scenes come alive (inspiration is from city in New Jersey)
  • ​Compound sentences
  • Commas in a series
  • Thoughtful and limited dialogue
  • Purposeful punctuation: em dashes, exclamation points
  • Small moment (entire event is probably 30 minutes long)
  • Movement through time is shown through events going on around characters
  • Facial expressions to show emotion
  • Variety of sentences
  • Illustrations tell more than what's on the page in text
  • Short amount of texts that makes for a perfect narrative