Workshop Wednesday: Mentor Texts! - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Workshop Wednesday: Mentor Texts!

It's another Workshop Wednesday! Today: Tell us all about your favorite mentor texts you use to teach author's craft!
Make sure to grab the button when you link up!

Ok, seriously. I think I may have to do this linky topic again, and again, and again, because there are just TOO many books I could rant and rave about, so I know you feel the same!! I'm going to try to share some of the "not so obvious" ones that people may not already use in hopes that you can get some new ideas from this post! :)

Today, I'm going to focus on books I use to teach WORD CHOICE. There are so many of course, but here are a couple of my favorites:
Click on the book to visit Amazon!
I think I've probably shared this one with you before... maybe? It is one of my all time favorites. The story is about a little girl living in a city in the summer, totally hot and dried out, begging for rain. It describes those moments before rain-you know them, where it starts to cool, the wind picks up, and the smell of rain is in the air. There is soooo much you can use this book for. I actually use it during reading and writing for a whole week! For teaching word choice in writing though, I like to use this book for figurative language, awesome adjectives, and vivid verbs. Here are some example sentences from the book that I make sure to focus on:

I am sizzling like a hot potato.
The smell of hot tar and garbage bullies the air as I climb the steps to Jackie-Joyce's porch.
Everyone, everywhere, everything is misty limbs, springing back to life.

Want my unit for this book? :) Click here or on the preview to get it from my TPT store!

This next book, I'm actually using this week. I am in love. The fabulous Amanda at Collaboration Cuties found this book last year and realized how amazingly perfect it was for our Westward Expansion Unit. It's called Dandelions. 
Click on the book to visit Amazon!
The story is about a family moving to the Nebraska Territory in a covered wagon. Mama's emotions make it very apparent that she is not happy about leaving her former home to live in a soddie (a dirt home), pregnant, away from all her friends and other family, although this is definitely an inference. She is lonely, but these feelings remain unspoken while the author describes her actions. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, too!

As for word choice, this book is FULL of language and imagery that provide the students with opportunities to visualize. In fact, when I read it to my kiddos for the first time yesterday, I did NOT show them the pictures. Instead, I had them write down everything they could vizualize using their five senses. This helps them to "show, not tell" in their own writing. Some of the sentences that are excellent examples to focus on from this book are:

Then, on a morning when the roar of the grass seemed quieter, Papa jumped from the wagon and shouted, "We’re here!"
The town was lifting itself as if by magic out of the distance.
The sky was a burning blue and the grass seemed tinged with red fire.

Want an amazing unit aligned for reading and writing skills for this book? Check it out here at Collaboration Cuties TPT store or by clicking on the title page below

I can't wait to see the awesome books you all link up!! Make sure to grab the button from the top to include in your post, link back to blog posts only please, and kindly follow the rule of 3! :) 


  1. Come on Rain is new to me, I look forward to checking that one out. I do love Dandelions. I use that one more in Reading Workshop than Writing Workshop. Thanks so much for sharing, and for hosting!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. This month’s High/ Low Linky is up and running. I would love to have you join us again! Click here to link up. I can’t wait to read how the month of March has been for you.
    Teacher to the Core

  3. I have never heard of Come on Rain and pinned it! Westward Expansion is not a topic that we cover but it is always interesting to read your posts:) Thank you so much for the great ideas!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. We are starting Westward Expansion next week. I am going to go and get this book. It sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Third Grade Galore

    1. It is sooo good! You'll love it!

  5. We just saw Come On Rain in our Scholastic Book Order. We'll have to order it and see how we can use it with our 1st graders! Thanks for sharing...we love a good book recommendation!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

    1. Oh you can totally use it! I also use the book to show how to stretch a small moment in writing- your kiddos could do that!!

  6. I will have to check out Come on Rain - I love the quote you included! This is a great topic.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  7. I can't wait to order Come on Rain! It sounds like it would fit perfectly in my class library! Thanks for sharing another great idea!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. In my district we do Westward Expansion in 5th and are officially beginning our unit next Tuesday. I'll be heading to the library this weekend to pick up my now reserved copy of Dandelions! Thanks for the review and activity!

  9. Both of these books look amazing and they are by 2 of my favorite authors. I can't believe I don't have them already!! Thanks for the linky! Great lessons!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  10. I have a mini-post on some books I used to add fun to our How To writing genre study this year but it's not real detailed so I'm not sure I should link it up...

    LOVE your ideas, girl!

    Happy to be your newest follower!

    And, would love for you to link up with my Learning Together: Writing Workshop linkies...I have a Writing Workshop Overview Linky and a Writers Notebooks Linky so far, with more to come.

    Smiles - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  11. We just started our Westward Expansion unit, so I look forward to checking out Dandelions. I am new to reading your blog, but have loved your posts from this week.
    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack


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