October 2015 - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom
I am so excited to announce that there are OFFICIALLY mentor sentences for every elementary grade! Grades 3-5 had them first- and they now have two complete volumes to choose from... then second grade got them, and these can be implemented into first grade with some scaffolding... but when I released mentor sentences for EARLY emergent readers (kindergarten, ELL, and maybe first grade if you've got some low babies), I had people asking for lessons that come between the K and 2 lessons for their emergent readers. I was happy to oblige! :)

Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
Just like always, I used some of my favorite books that I loved reading to my kiddos when I taught first grade!

Let's take a peek inside the two units- the Kindergarten Unit and the Kinder-First Unit- so you can see the differences in skill levels! (Both of the lessons you'll see are freebies in my store!)
Kindergarten Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.    Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.

Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
I hope this post helps you see how valuable mentor sentences can be for kindergartners and first graders, too! It provides balanced literacy opportunities where students will be reading and writing every day, and your students will have fun at the same time.

You can get ten weeks of lessons for either set:
Kindergarten Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.     Kindergarten and First Grade Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
I'd love to hear how these are going in your classrooms!

Poetry is not just for April! Don't save all the awesome poems for the spring! Everything you are doing with close reading can be done with a poem, too. Students can still infer, determine theme, compare characters or events, understand figurative language and word choice, explain how stanzas build on each other, determine mood or point of view, and compare poems to each other, just like they can with literature.

In this post, I will walk you through how I close read poetry with students.
Close Reading Poetry step-by-step with Ideas by Jivey.
I have used different colors for each step, but this is not necessary. (Although it IS prettier!)

When close reading a poem with students, before we read, I like students to label stanzas, verses, and sometimes even rhyme scheme.
Close Reading Poetry step-by-step with Ideas by Jivey.
Then in the first read, I just want students to "get the gist" of the poem. Students will annotate their initial thoughts during the first read. (Check this post for a great annotation bookmark students can use as a reminder!) Sometimes I read it aloud to them during the first read, sometimes I want them to read it alone. It depends on how much I anticipate that they might struggle with it (I don't want them to struggle TOO much, but a little is good). With this poem, I'd say most students 4th grade and up could read it alone.
Close Reading Poetry step-by-step with Ideas by Jivey.
During the second read, I always read the poem aloud to them. I will usually do some think-alouds along the way and ask questions about parts that I want them to really think about. I also talk about any cloudy words to make sure they understand the meaning (by leading them through context clues if possible). This is when students really dig in deep and try to understand what is happening in the poem, and what the author wants to convey.

With this poem, I'd be sure to really talk about the word choice of the poet to show Ann's fear as well as the mother's feelings. We will also talk in detail about the lesson Ann's mother is trying to teach her.
Close Reading Poetry step-by-step with Ideas by Jivey.
For me, I think the third read is always for the students to do on their own. They should really have a pretty good understanding of it at this point, too. The third read is where I like for students to connect to the poem and figure out what it really means to them. In this example, I have boxed the words that made me feel a bit sorry for spiders- all of Ann's mother's words.
Close Reading Poetry step-by-step with Ideas by Jivey.
(Of course, with all of the things you can do with one poem, you might do several readings over the course of a few days, but this is just one day!)

The poem you've seen in this post is a freebie in my store! :)

Close Read A Poem Freebie with Ideas by Jivey.
Enjoy using it with your class!

**Fun fact to share with your students: Jane Taylor also wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!**

You can also get the full pack to give you a poem for every month of the year!
Close Read A Poetry Through The Year with Ideas by Jivey.

In just one week, November begins. Isn't it crazy the year is almost over? The authors of The Primary Peach are back again this month to make your life easier and help you plan for November! (Did you miss October's Sharing Sunday? Check it out here!) I am sharing some fabulous resources for figurative language- great for grades 3-5. The best part: many of them are freebies or ideas from blog posts! Click on any of the images below to download the PDF. Once you are on the PDF, click around on all of the images to visit the resources!

The first three are books that are perfect for this time of year...
Fabulous resources for figurative language with Ideas by Jivey
Fabulous resources for figurative language with Ideas by Jivey
Fabulous resources for figurative language with Ideas by Jivey
 The following ideas can be used any time of year!
Fabulous resources for figurative language with Ideas by Jivey
Make sure to visit The Primary Peach to see other posts sharing amazing resources!

Mentor texts are perfect for students of all ages! If you don't believe me, read here. :) One of the best parts of using a mentor text is that it gives you more time to TEACH! Once you've read the book one time, you only need to re-read or refer to parts of it for your mini-lessons.

Mentor texts with Ideas by Jivey

In this post, I am going to explain how I used the book, When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco to review vivid verbs in writing (and help them implement in their own writing), review parts of speech and similes in grammar through mentor sentence lessons, and do a close reading lesson where they use text evidence to support their thinking during reading.

You can find all of the activities I will be discussing in these two freebies in my store:


The students were already familiar with vivid verbs, so I wanted them to "read like a writer" and listen for vivid verbs as I read the story to them for the first time. Patricia really has a beautiful way with words, and all of her books have great vivid verbs- this one was no exception!

Vivid Verbs with Ideas by Jivey
Students wrote all of the vivid verbs they heard as I read, then they shared what they heard with a partner. This recording sheet becomes part of their writing resource folder, so they can use it during writing time to help them revise if they need ideas. Later in the week, I had them pull out their writing piece and work on revising their verbs.

Over the course of the week, we also used one sentence from the story as our mentor sentence:
Mentor Sentence with Ideas by Jivey
The focus was still on vivid verbs to tie in with our writing lessons, but look at all the other great things we got to talk about with this sentence! Compound subject, simile, prepositions, proper noun, plurals... the list goes on! That's what I love about mentor sentences- the students get so much out of it each week and it really becomes a spiral review if you consistently use them. They are also looking at why the sentence is written WELL instead of a bad sentence full of errors (trying to figure out what might be wrong with it).

Mentor texts with Ideas by Jivey

One thing students always need more practice with is close reading and finding evidence... but you don't have to only do this with a nonfiction article! As a teacher, you can legally photocopy an excerpt of a book for the students to use in an educational setting. I copied the two pages where the aunts and Gramma were telling crazy tall tales. Students read this quietly and annotated their thoughts as they read, then we discussed their thoughts. They agreed that Aunt Ivah was exaggerating her story because no one would pick up a rattlesnake with an umbrella, much less get close to one!

Mentor texts with Ideas by Jivey

We did the first two jars together, then they tried it on their own with the last two jars.

There is also an activity included in the freebie where students find text evidence to support the theme of the book, if you're interested.

So I know reading about how to do all this and actually SEEING it are two different things... so I've made a new video!! I have several videos on YouTube but wanted to show how I tie everything together with one mentor text. Now, I'll warn you... this one is longer than the others with multiple lessons happening... go ahead and grab your popcorn! :)

Thanks so much for reading! For more mentor text resources, head over to my store or click the specific products below!
Mentor texts resources with Ideas by Jivey  Mentor texts resources with Ideas by Jivey  Mentor texts resources with Ideas by Jivey
For more ideas about using mentor sentences, follow my pinterest board!

Welcome to this fabulous blog hop AND giveaway, brought to you by several literacy-loving bloggers! As you hop through, collect the awesome fall mentor texts freebies, as well as the mystery words (the orange word in each post). At the end of the hop, enter all of the mystery words into the rafflecopter for your chance to win all of these fantastic fall mentor texts! My post is part of the 3-5 hop. If you are interested in some K-2 ideas, head here to start!


Reading between the lines... putting clues together to solve a mystery... whatever you may call it, I'm sure you will agree, students need a lot of practice with inferring! A great mentor text to use for this very skill is The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg! The Stranger is the story of a mystery man who stays with the Baileys after he was accidentally hit by Farmer Bailey's truck. The accident has caused him to lose his memory. While he stays with the Baileys, very strange things are happening with the weather... it doesn't seem like fall will ever come! Finally, the stranger seems to remember who he is, and with his departure, cold air comes in and green leaves turn red and gold!
Mentor text and practice inferring with Ideas by Jivey.

Lesson Introduction

Tell students that as you read the book, The Stranger, they are going to try to solve a mystery. A man loses his memory and you are going to try to figure out who he is!

Working with the Text

Use this freebie to work with the text!
Mentor text and practice inferring with Ideas by Jivey.
I suggest reading the book first. Some of the "clues" won't be obvious right away on the first read, but after you've read the book, you can go back through the book and see if there is anything that helps prove his identity. This also helps reaffirm to students the importance of returning to the text to find evidence! (You might even want to read the book one day, and do the activity the next day since it requires a re-read.)

As you re-read, have students give you a signal (maybe thumbs up or snapping) when they hear something that seems like it could be a clue to identifying the stranger's identity. Of course, you will want to start off the activity by doing a think-aloud or two...

Mrs. Bailey stopped the doctor as he left the house. He'd forgotten his thermometer. "Oh, you can throw that out," he answered. "It's broken, the mercury is stuck at the bottom." Oh! That seems important! I know that the mercury in a thermometer rises with heat but if it's stuck at the bottom, that must mean it's very cold. That must mean that the stranger's temperature is very cold!

He watched Katy take a spoonful of soup and blow gently across it. Then he did exactly the same. Mrs. Bailey shivered. "Brrr," she said. "There's a draft in here tonight." Another clue about the stranger being cold! He blew on his soup, and it seems that when Mrs. Bailey felt his breath, it made her cold!

Complete the activity during the second read to show the evidence you find to prove the stranger's identity:
Mentor text and practice inferring with Ideas by Jivey.

Next Step Options...

Of course, I can't pass up an opportunity to use an awesome text for a mentor sentence!! (Not familiar with mentor sentences? Click here to read more about them!) You can grab this FREE bonus mentor sentence lesson to go along with your inferring activity!

I also have hundreds of activities you can use with your favorite mentor texts in these three sets:


Did you catch my mystery word? If not, it is STRANGER! Now head over to Michelle's blog for the next awesome lesson! Thanks for visiting!

If you want even more IN-DEPTH step-by-step help with implementing mentor sentences, check out my courses

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