Teaching ideas using the book, Slinky Scaly Snakes

Slinky scaly snakes is a great nonfiction book to use as a mentor text. In this post, I explain the skills you can teach using it.

Kids love reading about creepy things, and this books has lots of interesting icky facts. In this post, I’ll share teaching ideas using it for mentor text lessons, guided reading, or as an interactive read aloud. Read on to hear about Slinky Scaly Snakes.

Using Slinky Scaly Snakes with Making Predictions

Making Predictions with Slinky Scaly Snakes starts with looking at the photos. This post offers tips using this book as a mentor text.

Predict Based on the Cover:

First of all, just look at that cover! What kid wouldn’t be freaked out by interested in reading the book? The DK Readers are always well planned and include all of those great nonfiction text features.  The first teaching tip I have is to have students predict what they will learn based on the cover.

Predicting with the Table of Contents:

Next, flip to the table of contents. Having your kids brainstorm guiding questions and topics they’ll want to explore helps get the juices flowing. With the DK readers, one thing I love is how they are organized. In this book, the topics are outlined in the table of contents…types of snakes, how they move, what they eat, how babies are born (yep it’s in there), and snakes’ predators.  Here’s a glimpse of the inside from Amazon.  The photographs are just so cool, and my tutorial student last week was amazed that snakes even eat animals as big as a pig!

Text Features found in Slinky Scaly Snakes:

original-3449271-1-6954899Another topic that’s great for this book are text features. You might have your students do a text features scavenger hunt. This free resource from An Elementary Edventure works well. Students can work through the book to record the features they see/find and what they learn from them.

The Main Idea of slinky scaly snakes:

After you’ve worked on text features, you can move to the main idea. Once students have read through the book, they’ll have the gist of the book. Students can jot down the big ideas they find and pull them together to determine the big idea. There is a graphic organizer in my teaching bundle, but I also enjoy having students stop and jot their thinking on sticky notes. These ideas can be sorted and analyzed through group discussion and the main idea determined based on the groups’ discussions.

Teaching Fact and Opinion with Slinky Scaly Snakes

Slinky scaly snakes is a great nonfiction book to use as a mentor text. In this post, I explain the skills you can teach using it.

Finally, with nonfiction, teachers can work on facts and opinions. Now of course, you can find facts in this books. However, you can have students generate opinions. There is a sorting mat within my unit, and I encourage creating an anchor chart like the one to the left to use with this lesson.

My Slinky Scaly Snakes Unit:

Last summer, when I was tutoring a middle grades boy, I knew this was the perfect book, so I put together a unit for it. It includes materials for vocabulary, a tree map, main idea, questioning page, fact/opinion, snake research, and writing. Here’s a glimpse of it.

Whether you use this book as a mentor text, in guided reading, or as an interactive read aloud, there are lots of teaching options kids would love. In fact, you might just look for other snake themed books to include with it for lots of fun research and learning.

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Slinky scaly snakes is a great nonfiction book to use as a mentor text. In this post, I explain the skills you can teach using it.


Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Ew. This book kinda creeps me out but that just means the kids will LOVE it!! And how cute is your unit and you are so sweet to put it up for free! Love!!! Thanks so much for linking up Carla!

  2. Without realizing it, I kind of piggybacked on your topic. I hope you can use some of my unit with your book too. Thanks for commenting!

  3. What's up with all these creepy snake books??!! LOL! Even if they creep the teachers out, the kids love them! Your so generous to share your unit-heading over to snatch it up! Thanks Carla!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  4. Thanks for dropping by Joanne! I hope you can get a copy or have a set of the book to use. It's really interesting, and even I learned a few things reading it. I've used this unit a few times already with tutoring kids and small groups. I have used different parts depending on needs. Have a great week.

  5. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing your fabulous unit with your blog followers. It is sincerely appreciated 🙂

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