Mentor Text: If You Find a Rock - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Mentor Text: If You Find a Rock

Good morning! I am up super early- the norm lately... so I'm linking up with my BBBs, Collaboration Cuties, to share a little bit more about the book I shared with you on Thursday. If you missed Thursday's post, click here!

If You Find a Rock is a great book to read at any time of the year, but it's a really good one for getting seed ideas at the beginning of the year. I mentioned in my post Thursday that I have them write connections and memories as I read the book. Last year, I took that idea a bit further thanks to a fellow teacher's brilliance! The idea I'm about to share is totally borrowed! :o)

I went to WalMart and bought medium-sized mason jars- enough for all my students to have one. I also went to the Dollar Tree and bought river rocks and floral moss.

Students then chose a few of their seed ideas they had written down and wrote a word or two about them with a permanent marker on the river rocks. We put a little floral moss in the bottom of the jar, then their rocks. This became their memory jar!

Now for the writing piece to go along with it! The students choose one of their rock memories from their jar. Just as the book did a wonderful job describing the rocks and the feelings that go along with those treasures, I want the students to write that way too! Here is the organizer I created for this purpose- it is generic so feel free to snag it up and use it with any writing piece!

I know it's pretty simple, but it works! :) I want the students to make sure they describe the setting and parts of the main event using sensory details so we can visualize, or feel like we are there.

Once students have finished editing and revising their drafts, I give them plain white paper that is cut in half vertically. The students write their final piece on this paper, roll it up like a scroll and tie a piece of yarn around it, then put it in their jar with their rocks! (I really wish I had a picture to show you! They were so neat. But you'll just have to use your imagination...)

The students could write a narrative for each of their memories over the course of the year, and have a really cool keepsake to take home at the end, like a portfolio in a jar! (I just came up with this idea as I'm writing this post!! Guess I better pin my own post so I don't forget... LOL) My students only wrote one piece this year, but I will totally clear a shelf in the classroom for the memory jars for next year!

What are your favorite mentor texts to read for Language Arts time? Link up with Collaboration Cuties and share! :)

**UPDATE**Be sure to check out this post for some exciting news!! :) Here's a hint..........


  1. This book looks fantastic-I love the way you use it to generate seed ideas. The jar is such a great visual for the kids too. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas! I am going to have to borrow this next year.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I will have to get a copy of this book. I like how you focus on getting seed ideas. Thanks for the graphic organizer - some times simple is the best. Love the jar idea.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  3. I LOVE the idea of a memory jar- what an awesome thing for the kids to keep! I might have to steal that one! ;)
    Thanks for sharing!

    Koonce’s Korner

  4. I loved the book on Thursday so I am happy to see more about it! Thanks!
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK! I know from everything you've told us that I'd love it! Thanks!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. My book list is getting extremely long! Your post on this book has convinced me to buy it. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Foreman Teaches

  7. I will definitely have to check out that book. I also love the idea you have to create that seed idea. So hands on for writing, which is great! Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  8. Cute idea! I will have to try it next year! Congrats on getting your other mentor sentence unit done! Have fun at the beach!

    Collaboration Cuties

  9. I love this! Thanks for sharing. I will have to add some things to my shopping list.

    room 4 imagination


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