Reading and Writing Strategies at Work: A Mentor Text Lesson for Nerdy Birdy




One of the best way to teach a skill is with quality literature and the think aloud process. For struggling readers or all readers for that matter, the think aloud process demonstrates the "look fors" for our students and scaffolds their learning. Students often "check out" as they read or focus completely on fluency, but through think aloud, we are able to show students that connecting to the text is the goal of reading.

For this lesson, I chose the book, Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds. The gist of the story is that Nerdy Bird is not like the "cool" birds. He likes video games, playing Wormcraft, and reading. He is feeling excluded when he discovers that there are other nerdy birds just like him.

I love the subtle messages in this book such as, "Be Yourself, Treat Others with Respect, and Never Exclude Others." Aaron Reynolds uses author's craft to carry these messages throughout the plot. 
Nerdy Birdy is a wonderful mentor text for character development, community building, author's craft, and writing ideas. This post includes a freebie for teaching author's craft with the book.
To begin this lesson, I planned a schema builder on finding friends. Kids may be surprised to see how much they have in common with each other, and this is the starting point of friendship. By using this schema builder, students will connect with Nerdy Bird and better understand the author's message.  Once this part is complete, it's time to instroduce the story vocabulary and directly teach author's craft "look fors".  I used an anchor chart for this, and you can project it for group discussion. A printable copy can be placed in your student's language arts notebooks.  
Nerdy Birdy is a wonderful mentor text for character development, community building, author's craft, and writing ideas. This post includes a freebie for teaching author's craft with the book.
For the "we do" part of this lesson, I suggest that you share the book with stopping points for discussion. If you have an "Elmo" that you can project the book, that would work well as there is reference to the text features of the book. However, you can also walk around with the book or secure multiple copies for small group work. During reading, students will share their thoughts on word choice, illustrations, structure, theme, and connections which all contribute to the author's craft for the book.

Nerdy Birdy is a wonderful mentor text for character development, community building, author's craft, and writing ideas. This post includes a freebie for teaching author's craft with the book.Finally, as a summarizer for the lesson, I am used a response page for my students to explain the main idea of the story and evidence. With this part, you can focus on the author's message and theme as well. 
To give you a little background on this book, I am including an interview with the author about the book. You will see why I love it so much. It is sure to be a classic like Stellaluna and Owl Moon

To download the freebie for this book, you can click the image below. 

For the FULL UNIT, you can click the unit cover below. 

Would you like to come back to this post later? Feel free to pin the image below.

Nerdy Birdy is a wonderful mentor text for character development, community building, author's craft, and writing ideas. This post includes a freebie for teaching author's craft with the book.
Thanks for visiting today, and be sure to come back soon.

For more great mentor text lessons, check out these posts:


11 comments

  1. What a CUTE book! Thank you so much for organizing this, Carla. It's AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know this book, but can't wait to get it now! As usual, you have inspired me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah...you will love it! Seriously a must buy! Reminds me a little of Scaredy Squirrel as far as the layout on the pages, but I love the analogies in it. I used it with my tutoring student Thursday, and she totally got the connection which was fun.

      Delete
  3. I've never heard of this book - it sounds great! Great post and lesson as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH man, Jenn! It is awesome! It's a new book. I think it was published within the last year. Definitely check it out!

      Delete
  4. I need to get this book!! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome and yes, you need to get this book! If you like Scaredy Squirrel, you'll like this one except it's got kind of a deep meaning.

      Delete
  5. You know, I have never read this book! I need to take a look at it! I like the idea of the author's craft "look fors!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you like it. You might have to look at your local library as our school library didn't have it yet. It was published within the last year.

      Delete
  6. Holy moley - how cute is this book!?!?!? I love the freebies you shared! Can't wait to use the "find a friend" activity with my cuties!! Ordered and on the way to my school! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I love to hear from my readers, so if something from my post speaks to you, please let me know. Feel free to share what has worked well for you or anything else on your mind.

Back to Top