Friday, March 18, 2016

Growing Readers and Writers With Mentor Texts

Happy (almost) spring! I'm so excited to link up with The Reading Crew for a Spring Mentor Text Link-up. Thanks for Carla from Comprehension Connection for organizing!

I am officially now on spring break. Woo-hoo! I'm ready to put away all things snowy and wintery and ready to whip out the flowers and spring-themed goodies. That includes my book choices. It's funny how I tend to bring my teacher book-tendancies home with me.  I put away the winter books at home and display the spring books for my own kids and get excited to read books related to whatever season we are in. On my most recent trip to Barnes and Noble, I came across this book. It caught my son's eye first actually. After reading it, I just had to get it! There are so many ways to use this book in the classroom too. 

Rabbit loves carrots. He loves them so much that his house is filled with them. Soon he has so many carrots, he can't fit in his house anymore. He sets off to find a new home. Along the way, his friends offer to help him, which leads to more problems! This is a great book about friendship and sharing. I love the very clear lesson that Rabbit learns in the end. Sure, it takes destroying a few of his friends' homes, but the kids will find that all pretty humorous and may even figure out before Rabbit does what the right thing to do is. 

Before reading the book, I read the title and ask students to make predictions about the text. I ask, "Why do you think the author would call it Too Many Carrots? Students will whisper to their elbow buddies a prediction they have. After sharing a few with the group, I would show remind students that books often follow a pattern. One of the common patterns is: introduce character and setting, character has a problem, character solves problem. Show students a visual to remind them of this. Ask students if any of their predictions involved a problem that needed to be solved. Now I will give students a purpose for reading: Listen for Rabbit's problem and look for ways this problem might be solved. After reading the book, have students think, pair, share this. 

There are a few things to point out to your students during the second read that show the author's craft:

There are two different things you could choose to focus on: character change or key details

The theme of this book is obviously friendship. In the beginning, Rabbit seemed to care more about his carrots than his friends, but in the end he realizes his friends are what is important. Throughout the book, the other animals are good friends. Ask students what makes these animals good friends. Reread to find examples to prove they are good friends. You could also focus on how Rabbit becomes a good friend. How do you know he learns to be a good friend in the end? 

You could borrow some of the ideas from this author! Encourage students to use all caps at least once in their writing if they have something they really want to emphasize. 

Want to see more? Check out all of these great ideas!

Before you move on, here is my secret word: carrots

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  1. Beautiful post, Sarah! This looks like a fabulous book, and I love how you walk through the lesson. Perfect!

  2. This book looks adorable! Thank you so much for all of your ideas and your freebie! :)

  3. I've never read this book, but it's adorable! Lots of great materials :)

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  4. This book looks so stinkin' cute! I cant' wait to check it out...soon! I like the freebie that you included because we have been working hard to beef up our vocab skills this year. And the fact that they have to provide evidence for the character analysis. This is great! Thanks so much.
    Curious Firsties

  5. I love the pictures and the book has wonderful illustrations. I can't wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing.