Mentor Text: Nonfiction Articles - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Mentor Text: Nonfiction Articles

Happy Sunday!! I'm linking up with those two Cuties, Amanda and Stacia, but I'm kind of cheating a little... it's not really a BOOK that I'm linking up... I hope they'll forgive me!
So, originally, I was going to share one amazing website with you, but then I visited my friend Jennifer's blog over at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings and lo and behold, I have another site to share thanks to her!! And both of them will create a great lesson you can do in the next couple of weeks before Valentine's Day! :o)

The site I wanted to share is FULL of awesome projects that are done by students, for students. It's called ThinkQuest. Sadly, they aren't taking projects anymore, but the site is full of amazing projects that have been submitted since the mid-90's. I am using this site to teach non-fiction secondary sources- I display a project on my SmartBoard and we read and navigate through together. You could easily have the students get on a computer and do this, too. The great thing about it is, all of these projects were approved so our students shouldn't come across anything inappropriate if they're "surfing" the site.

This morning, I read about a site that Jennifer shared called Wonderopolis. Another fun site full of nonfiction!! These are short articles that start out because someone had a "Wonder"- you can actually submit your own Wonders! The articles are perfect for close reading, and, as Jennifer pointed out, identifying text structure (which we are also working on now)!

So here's the lesson idea for you... first click here or the image below to grab the freebie you can use in this lesson!
(This graphic organizer came from my February and March Themed Reading Graphic Organizers!)

I will show this ThinkQuest on chocolate, but mainly focusing on the dangers of chocolate. Then, we will look at the Wonderopolis Wonder: Can Chocolate Be Good For You? (I am also going to copy/paste the article into a Word document to print so that students can annotate on the article.) We'll then complete that freebie you downloaded above to talk about the differences AND similarities that were found in the two points of view.

I hope you can use this lesson in your own classroom during Reading! And if not, maybe you can find some great articles or projects on the sites I shared! :o)

Don't forget, everything in my TPT store is 20% off today!


  1. Such a cute graphic organizer! Thanks for sharing- my kiddos will love it. :)

    Caffeine and Lesson Plans

  2. Fun! I will have to check it out! And I'm all about cheating on the linky this week!!!
    :O) Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. I love Wonderopolis. We used it everyday last year during one of our non-fiction units. We would read the wonder - record new learning and questions we still had and a guess for the next day's wonder and submit it. My students LOVED that they responded to us everyday. Super duper loved! Since I teach the same kids (broken record I know) I really appreciate your take on it and the graphic organizer idea - it looks great.

  4. OMGosh! What a find! I was not familiar with Wonderopolis! It's in my lesson plans for this week for my sixth graders. THANKS!

  5. Thanks for sharing Wonderopolis and the cute organizer! We just read about the history of chocolate during our study of Latin America, so this is a timely post. I gave out pieces of 85% dark chocolate to my kiddos...they were not in love with it!


  6. One of my teammates mentioned this site to me before but I haven't taken the time to check it out...I need to get on the ball. Thanks for reminding me about it!!!

    Have a great week!

    One Happy Teacher

  7. LOVE Wonderopolis! We sometimes write in with questions and and wait all day for a reply! I LOVE the sheet you made and the chocolate lesson! Great way to hit the standard for comparing point of views! Thanks! :)
    Pinkadots Elementary

  8. I'm excited about this lesson! Wonderopolis is new to me! Where have I been??!! Thanks for sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  9. Can't wait to try this lesson out! Another great site with non-fiction articles of all kinds is It is amazing b/c the kids read an article close to their lexile level (there are 4 versions), and some have a quiz aligned to the CCSS!

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE this lesson! Any way to incorporate 'chocolate' into my lessons is a WIN!!!! I wasn't familiar with ThinkQuest, so thanks for that tip!


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