Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What are You Reading? weekly on their blogs. To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.
I really didn't have a plan for what I'd post today for It's Monday! What are you reading? And then, on my walk, I saw the UPS man, and he said he had just left a package at my house. (Should I worry that the UPS man knows me by name?)
"Amazon?" I asked.
"No," he replied.
I spent some of the rest of my walk worrying about one of my daughters might have ordered that I said yes to and didn't remember. I didn't need to worry!
When I got home, my package of books had arrived that I won from my participation in the Slice of Life Challenge. Thank you Two Writing Teachers, and thank you Little, Brown Books for Young Readers!
Mama Seeton's Whistle by Jerry Spinelli would have been an amazing Mother's Day gift, as it really is a tribute and statement about the power of a mother to bring her family together. Far from a small moment story, it spans the life of a family, celebrating the moments of growing up and the power of family dinner and chocolate cake. Love, love, love this book.
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! by Elise Parsley is hilarious. While it's not one that easily fits into a narrative unit, it's a book that students, young and old, will really enjoy. Despite her better judgement, Magnolia brings her alligator to school for show-and-tell (even though she knows that she would be better off with "a hollow stick, or a bird's nest, or some sparkly rocks.") Throughout the day, she has to live with the consequences which include her name on the board with checks and underlines and a potential visit to the principal. It's a great book for teaching about endings, voice, and details.
Birdie's First Day of School by Sujean Rim is a great book for early primary teachers to read on the first days of school, but it is also a great mentor text for teaching about narrative craft moves. Birdie is predictably worried about the first day of school, and she does some talking with her monster about that, some inner thinking to herself, and goes through a lot of nervous behavior. There's easy to follow time transitions, as well as repetition, character development, and setting description.
Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva is almost too clever to describe. The book has holes which reveal letters on the following page. It makes sense on the first page, and then rhymes and completes a thought on the next page. It's not a mentor text because what Viva has done with word play is far too tricky to be duplicated. However, it would be a great class challenge to try to predict what might come on the next page, and it would be extremely fun to try to create a classroom version.
So happy to be reading today!