Saturday, March 30, 2013

Must Read Mentor Text- The First Linky We are Hosting!!

We are so excited to be hosting this linky!!  We hope that it is going to be a great way to share mentor texts (books) and how we use them in our classrooms.

I have TONS of books in my classroom.  I'm a bookaholic!  I see books and I have to have them!  Then, I put them on my shelf to use later...


they sit there.  Mainly because I don't always have time to go back and read them to figure out how I can use them.  Our hopes is that this linky will give us ways we can use books we may already have but also introduce us to new books and how we can use them, too.  (because I really need another reason to buy new books!)  ;O)

I will explain all about how you can link up at the bottom of this post!

If you read our post from yesterday, you saw that we had the book fair this week at our school.  And, you saw that I bought a bunch of books.  Just because.

Here is one of the books that I bought:

Now, obviously this looks like a fun book.  And it is!!

Brief synopsis:  Gilbert is a goldfish and he wants a pet.  In the story, there is a dog, a mouse, and a fly that he wants to make his pet.  In the end, he gets a pet.  A CATfish!!  How cute is that?

After I bought the book, it was sitting on my back table and several of my kids were asking me who the book was for.  I said it was for ME (wink-wink).  Then, I was reading it to myself and a student asked me about it.  I was telling her about the book.  All I said was that it was about a goldfish that wanted a pet.  She looked at me for a minute and then said, "He should have a catfish."

I said, "Have you read this book??"

She looks at me funny and says no and then she realizes she got it right.  She laughed and said, "Well it just makes's a CATfish!"

So that got me thinking.  Wouldn't it be fun for them to write a story about a different pet (dog, cat, turtle, etc) that has a pet?!?  And, even better if they can do it in a clever way, especially at the ending.  Before you get to the last page of this book, the illustration shows the shadow of Gilbert's new pet.  It looks like a cat.  So, when I was first reading it, I thought, seriously??  Surely this author is not going to have the fish get eaten by a cat, right?  Nope.  It was a gotcha, but the perfect time to make an inference!

But not only that, the book uses great language and text features that makes it fun to read.

So, I came up with a few little sheets that could go with this.  I hope it encourages you to try this book, just for fun!  And, while you are having fun reading it, you can work on a few skills, too.  Hopefully this will work for upper grades and lower grades!

Another reason I wanted this book is because I also love this book:
This is a great opportunity to compare and contrast these two books.  They are very similar, yet very different.  You can get into the differences in text format (memoir/diary versus narrative) and compare and contrast the themes of the book along with the characters.  Just another reason to get these fun books!!

Here's a little sheet in case you want to do a compare and contrast!

(I like the compare/contrast H better than the Venn!)

Ok, now I hope you'll want to link up a book that you like.  Your post can be as simple or detailed as you want.  We really want this to be QUICK and EASY.  No stress!!
 If you want to use the template for a "quick look" at the book (for our readers that are skimmers) you can, but you DO NOT HAVE TO.  Whatever is EASIEST for you, friends!!  Some weeks you may not want to say a whole lot about a book, and you can just fill this in.  That totally works!
Our end goal is to have all of these posts organized on a separate page/tab on our blog so that many people can come there and try to find a book, recommended by you, excellent teachers!  (I will try to figure out how I am going to make a new page with links when we have spring break after next week.)  :O)

Below are just some things to consider but ARE NOT A MUST.  We are not huge on rules!  So, these are not rules, but things to consider since these posts will be linked to a page that will hopefully be a place full of mentor text ideas.  You are more than welcome to link your blog button and with your blog name, no worries!

For this week, you can link up any book!  After this week, we will post based on subject area (language arts, math, science, and social studies).  We wanted to be able to organize all of these great recommendations in a way that visitors can come, find the subject they are looking for, and then click on the posts to see if they can find something that will work for them.

Example:  If I am looking for a book to use when I'm introducing measurement, I can go under the Math Mentor Texts tab and just click through those posts to see if I can find a book recommendation.  I don't have to click through every single post left by every blogger to see if they are even about math, let alone measurement.  Does that make sense?

We did not want to narrow it too much by topic because then that becomes difficult for bloggers to have to worry each week about the topic.  These are the topics and it won't change.  We WILL put the next week's topic in our post just as a reminder, but you can always come back to this post to double check.  Next week's topic- Language Arts (this can be reading, writing, or grammar related)

This week- anything goes!!!  You can link up any mentor text, and we hope you will!  We can't wait to see what you link up!!  Feel free to link up products or freebies that go with your books, but you don't have to!

If you are not a blogger, but have great books to share, we hope that you will comment with the book and how you use it.  It will be here for all to see, as well.  We know some awesome teachers are not bloggers but we still want to learn from you!!

Happy Easter!


  1. I can't believe that is the book you used - that is the book that made my class gasp when I told them how long I had been developing my schema. Love that book - wish I would have had your great reading response activities when I read it!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. Thanks for sharing about Gilbert! Looks like a great book and the freebie to go along is super! We'll be linking up with you soon!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  3. This linky is going to be awesome!! It has me thinking about the Tried It Tuesday linky now and how I could organize the linkups by topic on a page from my blog. Can that be done through inlinkz?
    I can't wait to pin and organize all the great mentor texts that I will be reading about (I am so weak in that area!). Thank you so much for setting this up:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. I can already tell this linky is going to cost me money! LOL! I can not resist a good book. I just bought Memoirs of a Goldfish at the book fair. Funny you used it. The other one sounds great. I am going to link up, but I want to wait until Monday since all my books are at school! The freebies are so cute! THANKS!!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  5. Love link idea! I am looking forward to browsing all of the contributed links as the weeks pass... Shall I buy some new book baskets? :0) Will be stopping back often!

  6. Looks like a terrific Linky Party! I haven't heard of either book, but they both look very cute! The author of Memoirsa of a Goldfish was a newscaster here in Oklahoma City when the Murrah Federal Bldg was blown up. I remember he wrote a very touching song that they played with pictures from the bomb site.

    I'm your newest follower.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  7. Love all of these ideas! I've already added them to my wishlist on Amazon! Thanks for hosting and so glad to be part of it!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. Thanks for hosting this linky party! It's a great idea. You are right, we all have so many books that we forget all about them. I had this grand idea of creating a master list and comprehension strategies along with the levels for my books a couple of years ago. I at least made a list of the titles but haven't touched it since! I also have a habit of rebuying books that I know are great if I see them on sale or something because I haven't seem them in a while and am afraid my students lost them. Both books you mentioned are new to me so thanks!

    Literacy Spark

  9. I linked up! This will motivate me to use the books I already have instead of buying more. Although I want to buy more...hmmm...what a dilemma!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  10. LOVE your linky! I will work on linking up tonight. I am going to think long and hard today about which book I want to showcase. I love your suggestion. I will look for it in Scholastic, I have a ton of bonus points and I already own the "Memoirs of a Goldfish!" Thank you for the freebie too! When I receive the other book, I will be sure to use it! :)

    I linked up to you guys today in my blog, check it out!
    Pinkadots Elementary
    Pinkadots Elementary

  11. I am also a bookaholic! When my boys were little I would take them to Barnes and Noble for story hour and to play with the trains and I would leave with a stack of books. My justification in buying books has always been...I can use it in my classroom when they get tired of it. Well a couple of summers ago I told my daughter we are going to start visiting the library, what a novel idea.


  12. GIRLS!
    Better late than never right!!!
    Please let me know if I linked up correctly...
    This is going to be so much fun!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  13. I love this idea... unfortunately my husband will disagree with how much money I will want to spend on these awesome books. Shhh... don't tell! I just started my blog so I would be overwhelmed by "linking up" right now but, I love to use "I Wanna Iguanna" by Karen Kaufman Orloff. My kiddies use it to inspire persuasive letter writing. Thanks again!


    First Grade Hugs and High Fives

  14. if you always use your swimming pools, you will need to use some quality pool cleaner a lot;; 먹튀검증커뮤니티


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