Sunday, January 5, 2014

Red Sled {Language Arts Must Read Mentor Text}

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday break! We go back tomorrow....going to be hard to get up! I've enjoyed sleeping in!!!  :(

I want to share a Language Arts mentor text that is perfect for Winter. I bought this book last year because it looked soooooo cute, but I never ended up using it with my kids. So, this year I am excited to try it with them.

The book is Red Sled by Lita Judge.

I know this book is written for young children, but I am going to adapt it to use with my fourth graders. Sometimes the simplest books can be the most powerful teaching tools!  :) Description: "In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child's sled for a nighttime joy ride. Their whimsical ride is gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects. With a timeless tone and classic characters, RED SLED will become a wintertime favorite."
I am going to start by reading the book aloud to my class and showing them the gorgeous illustrations. Then, I will read it a second time, but this time I will pause on each page to allow my students to make inferences. They are going to tell me what is happening on the page and how the characters are feeling. The students are thinking this already in their heads, so this is a great way to show them how often we make inferences and we do not even realize it!

Next, I will use the book during my Writing Workshop. Since the whole book is written in onomatopoeia phrases, this will be a great time to review these awesome sound words. We will add the onomatopoeia we find in this book to our onomatopoeia charts in our writing notebooks. 

I will also use this text to do a writing lesson on using quotation marks. I know the first thing my kids will say is,"There are no quotation marks in this book!" and they are right. Sooooooooo...we will create our own dialogue for the characters! I will explain to my students that they are going to help author this book by adding in dialogue. And the expressions on the animals' faces are priceless, so I know they will come up with some clever quotes!  :) This also ties in the inferencing because the students are inferring what the animals would be saying. 

Other Writing Workshop lessons I will do focus on narrative writing. I will review how to describe the setting of the story using our senses- this is a great book to try that with since the snowy setting offers so many opportunities. We will fill in words on our graphic organizer that we paste in our notebooks. Then, I will review how we "Show, Don't Tell" in our writing. In groups, students will rewrite the sentences on the graphic organizers we paste into our notebooks. I always love to see the awesome details my students come up with! :)

Finally, I will have my students write a narrative of this story. They can use their setting graphic organizers and onomatopoeia charts to help them. I will give them the choice to follow the story that the author outlined or to create their own "Red Sled" story.

If you would like to use any of these printables I created, please just click here to download them for FREE from our TPT store.

I hope that this will be a fun way to "ease" back in after our two week holiday break! :)

I look forward to seeing what books you link up. Have a happy Sunday!
Please Link Up!

Next week's linky- Math


  1. Stacia, I couldn't agree more about using "simple" picture books for intermediate students, (especially when introducing a new skill/concept). So often, these books open such rich discussion and perfect teachable moments! Thanks for sharing a cute book and hosting!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. I love this post, and I hope you don't mind that I took the liberty to add your blog to the Six Traits Writing Linky I have going on on my blog. I think your writing idea is perfect for primary (and upper) elementary. I am going to add this idea to my writing jplans in the coming weeks. Thanks so much!
    Comprehension Connection

  3. This book looks really cute. I love the idea of adding dialogue. I am sure the students will come up with very creative responses. I agree that short texts work great for teaching skills to all grade levels! Thank you, and have a great week!

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. I guess I will be finding this book pronto! Thanks so much for sharing such great activities. Love this linky!!

  5. Oh dear, another trip to Amazon for me! Good thing I received several Amazon gift cards for Christmas! Love the activities you ALWAYS develop!

  6. Cute! I pinned this…we wrote winter poems using the five senses before the break, this would work perfectly.

    Literacy Spark

  7. I too love using "simpler" books with my middle school students. It makes the concepts easier to "get" for my special ed kiddos. I love the watercolors in this book - too bad we don't have snow in Florida because this book exudes charm. :)

  8. I was so worried about adding my link right that I forgot to leave my comment. My fifth graders love mentor text. They have become better writers because of this. They are more aware of writer's craft and who doesn't enjoy a good book. Thank you for dedicating yourselves to help us all share some wonderful mentor texts. I look forward to all your posts.

    Blessings of a Teacher

  9. I really enjoyed reading this blog. I found it to be so meaningful for student learning. Gives me plenty to think about as I prepare for the return to school.

  10. I'm just curious. Where do find the text you use for mentor text? I know it sounds like a silly question, but do you visit bookstores a lot or is there some kind of website you search for books that gives you insight? I don't often get access to books besides at the school library and I don't often see a lot I feel like I could use at mentor text.

  11. I love that you're having the students come up with their own dialogue. What a good idea! Loved linking up this week! :)

    The 4th Grade Journey

  12. Oh my goodness, y'all have done it again- another great freebie? Seriously? I have it downloaded and saved for next year because I can't get Amazon to ship all the way over here!! I LOVE the book and will definitely use it with my firsties once I get my hand on it. Thank you!!!
    I'll be back to link up next week!

  13. Wow! What great ideas. This looks like so much fun. I could easily adapt this for my first graders. It fits perfectly with our current reading and writing units. Now I just have to track down this book.

    Compassionate Teacher

  14. What a great linky!! I just discovered it now and I have been missing out!!! I can't wait to join in the fun next week for Math!!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees

  15. Oh how wonderful! I love your blog and am honored to be included in the fantastic work you do. As an author and illustrator, one of my greatest thrills in life is knowing the books I create are getting used this way with students. Thank you for this! --Lita

  16. Pretty important for any of the students to think in accordance with the credible piece of objects as mentioned here which will help them to achieve more of the provisions. proposal writing services

  17. Graphic organizer charts are a common name given to charts that can illustrate facts, concept, and ideas in a way that can be understood visually. There are many graphic organizers or various purposes. T chart, y chart, mind maps, KWL charts, Venn diagrams and fishbone diagrams to name a few. Creately is an online diagramming and collaboration software which supports all graphic organizer charts. There are many Graphic Organizer Templates and example of graphic organizers to be used freely as well.


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