Sunday, October 20, 2013

Science Must Read Mentor Text {Halloween Spiders}

It's Sunday, and I am here to share a fun Science Mentor Text just in time for Halloween!
Spiders by Gail Gibbons

I LOVE all of Gail Gibbons' books, and this one is fabulous! 

From "An excellent science book by a frequent author. Within the triple borders of black and vividly colored lines framing each page, Gibbons uses deep green and blue backgrounds to set off transparent webs and drab spiders to fine advantage. In a succinct, informative text, she describes some of the 30,000 species of spiders, meanwhile illustrating assorted webs: sheet, tangled, funnel, triangle, and orb. Especially useful are carefully labeled side-by-side drawings of a spider's body and an insect's. A final page offers more odd facts--''Little Miss Muffet'' was probably recoiling from a meal of mashed spiders, ``a common cold remedy, about 200 years ago.'' Visually appealing, solid information." 

I use this book in October (since spiders are kind of Halloweenish) as I teach nonfiction text features and informational writing. Included in the book are captions, labels, diagrams, and many more text features.  

It is also a WONDERFUL preview for my animal adaptations and ecosystems unit I teach in the spring. Even though I am not a huge fan of spiders (okay, I don't really like them) they do play an important role in the ecosystem. I can preview the food chain too as we discuss what spiders eat! 

The illustrations are clear and simple for the students to understand, and they are a perfect model for our informational writing books we create. In the past, I have let students choose an animal to do an informational writing piece on, but this year I am tying it in with our Social Studies curriculum. So, students are writing about a Native American tribe, but they can still use the same text features that are modeled in this text. 

Another way I use this book is to compare it with a fiction story. I read Spiders by Gail Gibbons and I read Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin. Then, we compare and contrast the two texts. We notice that we can still find facts in a fiction story, but not all facts may be entirely true.  :)
I have created a unit centered around these two books. If you are interested in checking it out, I have put it on SALE in our TPT store for 20% off. 

Have a great rest of your weekend,

I can't wait  to see what y'all link up!!!
Please Link Up!

Next week's linky- Social Studies


  1. I hate spiders, but I do love this book...Gail Gibbons is such a great nonfiction writer. I love using her books with my students.

  2. She has GREAT informational texts, and I love to pair them with cute fictional books about the animals! Of course, the bat one is the one I prefer to use with my books this month.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  3. Are you going to be posting some information about what you plan to do for Native Americans? I would love to see what you have planned!!

  4. Again you ladies make me wish I taught science so I could steal your ideas! Just wanted to let you know that my students are loving, LOVING your Halloween foldables - they are making our lessons on the parts of language and stories so much more fun!!

  5. Love Gail Gibbons! Your unit looks great! Thanks for sharing!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  6. I love to pair them with cute fictional books about the animals! Of course, the bat one is the one I prefer to use with my books this month.

  7. Saya sangat senang menemukan situs ini. Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih atas waktu Anda karena membaca fantastis ini!! 바카라사이트


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