Better Than Basal product I created this summer to go with all of my mentor sentence texts has been a lifesaver!? And I'm really not just saying that because I made it or because I'm trying to make you buy it... my planning time has literally been cut in half every week because no matter what skill we are working on, 9 times out of 10, my mentor text will align to it. It has seriously been so amazing each week when it's time to plan. If you want to read more about how I use mentor texts in the classroom, check it out here (but make sure to read the rest of this post for ideas too)!
Over the summer, I shared with you how I set up my Reading Workshop during the Reading In The Wild Book Study.
You can print/save this page for free from Google Docs if it's helpful to you, or get more in depth info in my Launching Reading Workshop Pack.
We are studying the water cycle and weather in science right now. I LOVE integrating my science and social studies content into as much of my day as I can, so I choose my mentor texts to do just that. This week's mentor text is Come On, Rain! It is a gorgeous book full of vivid language about a rainstorm rolling in on a sizzling hot day.
We have been working on finding supporting evidence in texts, as well as using evidence to draw conclusions, so we used a page from Better Than Basal as I read Come On, Rain! Monday, and also a page from the Nonfiction Companion Mini-Unit as I read just one page from Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? on Tuesday. This way, we practiced standard R.1 with fiction and nonfiction!
The students told how the author gave clues that rain was coming.
The students answered the question, "Why do clouds have different shapes and colors?" They wrote evidence from the text about the different types of clouds and realized that all of the clouds are formed differently, which is why they are different shapes!
Both of these activities were done whole group as my mini-lesson, then my students were/are able to apply this skill to their own book during independent reading when they write their reading response for the day. (They must give evidence from the text to support their thinking in their reading journal.)
We are going to do the questions page one more time this week with Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? because this is a harder skill, and I also love sharing some of the cool information in this book!
Later this week on my blog, I will share more about how I'm teaching weather. We've done some super fun things already, and more fun is still on the way! :o)