Mentor Text Reading Activities & Writing Prompts for Volume 1: Better Than Basal


* Open the preview for more details! *


Why is this better than a basal? Because YOU get to choose the order and even the skills you want to cover with each book! A GOOD mentor text will provide opportunities to teach or review a variety of skills, not the ONE the teacher manual says you have to teach.

This product is JAM-PACKED with Common Core aligned lesson ideas, activities, graphic organizers, and writing prompts for 40 of your favorite mentor texts to use in grades 3-5! (See the complete list below.) With over 100 graphic organizers WITH answer keys, you’ll be set for the year (and years after that, too)! It also includes the generic versions of the graphic organizers so you can use them with any book!

★ Activities are also provided as links to Google Slides for Digital Learning! ★

Several of my followers who use my Volume 1 Mentor Sentence Units asked how I use those books in reading and writing. Because of those requests, this product was born! (You do not have to use Mentor Sentences to use these activities in your classroom…)

Not familiar with mentor sentences? Read all about them here!

You might also be interested in the Volume 1 Vivid Vocabulary Companion Bundle: includes vocabulary activities to use the words IN CONTEXT from the same books in all the mentor sentence sets.

**Please LOOK AT THE PREVIEW to see all that is included!**
Activities cover skills such as:
Using evidence to describe, infer, and draw conclusions
Identifying and supporting theme
Identifying and supporting character traits
Explaining figurative language
Identifying vivid language
Supporting opinions
Comparing characters
Comparing texts to media and other texts
Defining words using context clues
…and more!

There is also a writing prompt for every book that ties to the theme, idea, or topic of the book. Get this free “At-A-Glance” download to see the skills covered for all 40 books in Volume 1!

Activities are for the following books:
-First Day Jitters By Julie Danneberg
-Enemy Pie By Derek Munson
-Saturdays and Teacakes By Lester Laminack
-My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother By Patricia Polacco
-Fireflies! By Julie Brinckloe
-Come On, Rain! By Karen Hesse
-The Man Who Walked Between The Towers By Mordicai Gerstein
-Verdi By Janell Cannon
-Stellaluna By Janell Cannon
-I Need My Monster By Amanda Noll
-If You Find a Rock By Peggy Christian
-The Wretched Stone By Chris Van Allsburg
-Knots on a Counting Rope By John Archambault
-How Many Days to America? By Eve Bunting
-Grandpa’s Teeth By Rod Clement
-Owl Moon By Jane Yolen
-Polar Express By Chris Van Allsburg
-Trouble With Trolls By Jan Brett
-The Three Snow Bears By Jan Brett
-Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs By Judi Barrett
-Groundhog Gets a Say by Pamela Curtis Swallow
-Olive My Love by Vivian Walsh
-The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
-I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff
-I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff
-Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
-Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
-My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston
-Dandelions by Eve Bunting
-Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney
-Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
-Shortcut by Donald Crews
-Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
-Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
-Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
-The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey
-The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
-Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
-The Raft by Jim LaMarche
-The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
If you don’t own all these books, I encourage you to take advantage of your library! They are all wonderful texts to share with your students!

Want more information on how to use mentor texts in the classroom? You can check out my blog posts:

Mentor Texts: Maximize Your Time!
Picture Books Are For EVERYONE!!


All of the books in this pack also have mentor sentence lessons you can find HERE in the Volume 1 Bundle.

Get the BIG bundle with all Volume 1 Mentor Sentences, Interactive Notebooks, Modifications, Vocabulary Activities, and Reading and Writing activities for all 40 mentor texts in the volume! Check out the Biggest and BEST Yearlong Bundle for Volume 1!

Looking for MORE mentor text lessons? There is also a VOLUME 2 Better Than Basal and a VOLUME 3 Better Than Basal!

You might also be interested in:

NO PREP Nonfiction Reading and Writing Mini-Unit for Informational Texts
Launching Reading Workshop in Grades 3-5


There is a Volume 2 Better Than Basal for grades 3-5.

Check out what’s in Volume 2!
and check out what’s in Volume 3!

There is also a Second Grade Better Than Basal! Check out what’s in the 2nd Grade Version!

Please remember, this purchase is for the use of one teacher. It is not intended to be shared. Please use the ‘additional license’ purchase if more than one teacher will be using it. Thank you!

Copyright © 2014 Ideas By Jivey, LLC
All rights reserved by author, Jessica Ivey.
Permission to copy for single classroom use only.
Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only.
Not for public display.

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