Animals Nobody Loves - Science Mentor Text - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Animals Nobody Loves - Science Mentor Text

I'm linking up this Sunday morning with those cutie patooties!! The book I'm sharing today might give you the heebie-jeebies, but the kids LOOOOOVE it!! This was one of my fabulous purchases from Dodge at the Summer Literacy Institute this past week. It's called, Animals Nobody Loves, by Seymour Simon.
The cover alone is enough to send some running! :-P This is a great non-fiction book on animals, of course, but this book is the PERFECT book to use for modeling close reading. The book has 26 different pages/animals, each with its own short passage. Seymour Simon reveals the truth about nature's most misunderstood animals and lets the reader decide what to really think about natures grossest, fiercest, and most fascinating survivors. (Amazon description)

Seymour Simon does an excellent job describing each animal in an engaging way. It's really a great book to show how to make their non-fiction writing more interesting (because we know those can sometimes be the students' most BORING pieces of writing...) while still maintaining the truth.

One thing I like to do with this book is show the students one of the pictures FIRST. They work with a partner to decide what vocabulary words they are sure they will hear on that page. As we read, they check off words on their list that were in the text, and add other important words. Then, they use these words to help summarize what we've read. It really works wonderfully because it keeps them from just "using" a sentence or two from the book, and it holds them accountable to using that important vocabulary!

Even though we don't start our animals unit usually until the last quarter, I'm going to use this book in the beginning of the year to model close reading (as I mentioned above). This book will keep them engaged while we are learning such an intense strategy. Here is an example student page for the passage about the octopus:
Click here for a free download!
The students would use a photo-copy of the page in the book that I provide them to annotate... I want them to give the evidence in the text of course to answer these questions.

I hope this gives you some ideas to use with a GREAT Science Mentor Text! I can't wait to see everyone else's link-ups! Make sure to go check out the others, too!


  1. Boy, you are quick! I just barely got my post up about our meet-up and you've already moved on to a new post! :)

    I love Seymour Simon's books. This is a great choice. Did you know that he chats a lot of Twitter. He shares a ton of great info in the chats that he participates in. Nice guy!
    Creating Lifelong Learners
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  2. I love Seymour Simon, and this book is one of my boys favorites! I wish I had picked up another copy when it was on sale through scholastic last year. Thanks for sharing how you use it with your kiddos. I need to add more nonfiction close study to my classroom this year.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. I love Seymour Simon! I think Heidi used to talk about this book maybe? I may need to get it although the picture on the cover makes me feel a little ill.

    :0) love ya
    Collaboration Cuties

  4. With 6 out of 9 of my summer school kids being boys, this book would be a big hit this week. I need to spice up our mandatory scripted curriculum and I think your recommendation will be just the way to do it. My struggling readers (and I) thank you! :)

    :) Samantha

  5. Thanks so much for sharing!!! This looks like such a cool book! My kids always love those crazy creatures!

    And thanks for the freebie!!!


  6. That's a great share! Seymour Simon is a fantastic non-fiction author. I can see that book becoming a fave in my 4th grade classroom. Thanks!

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  7. Agh! Love this post because it reminded me that most of my collection of his books (I bought a big set one year) "walked off" two years ago! I think it must be the great pictures that gets kids interested enough to actually take them.

    DON'T like this post because now I have to go spend $80 on Amazon buying all those books back so I can use them for close reading next year! ;)

    Love the freebie! Thanks!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason
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  8. The title alone will get my students excited. I love your example on using the book for close reading. Even though I'm not teaching science next year, I'm going to still use all my mentor texts during reading. Thank you for giving me another way to do this!


  9. I found your blog through another. I loved reading about you gals meeting up in Atlanta. It looks like a lot of fun. I am your newest follower and I can't wait to read more post. If you get a chance I would love for you to come check out my blog. Thanks for shaing.


  10. I love the look of this book and know that lots of my students would love it too! My mind is busy thinking about all of the ideas you shared from your PD last week, so thanks for sharing that this would be good for a close reading. If my mind is still working I can not imagine what yours is doing!

  11. Just ordered! Thanks for sharing! I may have to skip the cockroach chapter-I'm terrified of them! :O(
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  12. Scary, but soooooo engaging! :)
    This is such an engaging book!
    I love that you start with the picture and then ask about the vocabulary. What a great strategy!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun


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