One of the most important requirements of us as teachers is to know kid books. You can not have conversations with your students about books they might like, know what books to use for your lessons, or know where to go for supplemental materials if you don’t know what’s out there. Plus, there are new authors publishing great stuff all…the…time, right? If you only know what you’ve used for the past ten years, you might be missing great books that your kids would love. Today, I’d like to explore with you titles that work well this time of year for skill modeling.
Cause and Effect Relationships
Students need to recognize cause and effect relationships in both fiction and nonfiction. We typically think about cause/effect in fiction, but we also find cause/effect structures in nonfiction. For fiction, my favorite titles are Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, and Suddenly! There are so many though that work well. [This link] to Good Reads includes a LONG list of books tagged for cause and effect. The collection of teaching options for cause and effect to the left is from Melissa Mazur. I’ve used it with my students and purchased her full bundle, and I would recommend it to others for skill instruction.
If you are teaching cause and effect nonfiction structures, books about weather and natural disasters, war, and environmental studies work well. You can use most cause/effect organizers with nonfiction as well.
Once again, you can check out Good Reads for wonderful titles for making inferences [HERE]. Teaching children to make inferences is tough. Some children are simply literal thinkers, and developmentally, they may not be at the stage to be able to read between the lines. Check out the image to the left for my favorite titles. Of these, Fireflies, Flotsam, and Night Sky are great choice for this time of year.
[THIS POST] on my blog gives a step by step lesson on inferences versus drawing conclusions, and within that post, there is a collection of printables and a graphic organizer I’ve used for teaching with a few of these texts, and I introduced the paper bag mini book above which helps students step by step in learning about making inferences. You can do a part a day as a literacy workstation or use them in small group for instruction. You can see other mini books in my store [HERE]
Of all the skills we teach, characterization is my favorite. I think it’s because it gives us a chance to explore great literature. There are so many great options including Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Strega Nona, Enemy Pie, Amazing Grace, and Brave Irene. As you can see in the image to the right, there are many others you might choose too.
When teaching with any of these books, the organizer to the left might be helpful. I also gave teaching tips in [THIS POST] on my blog that you might enjoy using too. Characterization is observed throughout the book, and we need to watch for character change. THIS ORGANIZER is one you can use with any fictional book.
Well, we have a long list of skills to teach, but I’ve blogged about many different mentor texts. For other book choices by skill, you can use the search bar at the top right corner to find mentor text posts.
The Reading Crew is the group of literacy coaches and reading specialists that link up often for mentor texts lessons. You can check out our last spring mentor text link up by clicking [HERE] which will take you to my post using the book, Miss Rumphius. I shared the freebie to the left for teaching Question-Answer Relationship, but there are many other skills included which may still be free or minimal in cost for quick lessons you may use.