Thursday, January 31, 2013

Class Author Visit: Ginny Rorby

      In 2008, I fell in love with a book and that same year I was lucky enough to meet the author at a book signing event here in Orlando (and only the second author that I had met at that time). At the signing event, myself and a handful of students were in awe of the presentation and after, during the signing, I asked the author if she would be willing to do a phone interview with my students after we read the book later in the year and she graciously agreed. This was the beginning of my Hurt Go Happy unit that ends with my students being able to talk to the author, Ginny Rorby, on the phone and it was also the beginning of a friendship that I cherish.

      Earlier this school year, I was contacted by Ginny and she asked if she could stop by my school when she was in Florida. Um, YES! I didn't even hesitate (and I was so glad it worked out this time, because last time she offered it was during midterms and I had to say no). The date seemed so far away when we set it, but it finally came this Monday. Now, Ginny had a bit of a task before her because half of the students attending were students who I had last year that had read Hurt Go Happy and the other half will not read it until later this year. I was intrigued to see what she decided to focus on in her presentation and she did not let down.

      Myself and 60+ students joined together to watch Ginny's presentation in the media center.  First, Ginny told a bit about her life which was a great starting point for my students because Ginny had a school-life that my intensive reading students really connected to- she struggled and did not feel very successful in school. However, she found that with the right teacher and with the right inspiration, she was able to find a career that she loves and is good at.

      Much of her inspiration was from her own life and from animals and she shared with us many stories that inspired her as well as some of the things she really believes in such as protecting our children and our animals. Throughout all of this, she also talked about her books in a way that would intrigued students who had or had not read her books. Finally, she talked about the books she is working on now and gave my students advice- "Read. And write." Such simple but important advice.

     To end the day, Ginny met each of the students one-on-one and signed post cards and bookmarks for each of them and took pictures with anyone who wanted one. For many of my students this was the first author they had ever met and you could see the excitement as they talked to her. It made me tear up just seeing them be this excited about an author. When we returned to our classroom, Lost in the River of Grass, her newest book, flew off the shelves. 

     But the excitement of the day can only be shared the best through the words of my students: 
  • " She told us that she was a horrible writer, but she kept trying. Ginny Rorby inspired me to read her books and that reading is amazing. I now want to write books." J.M.
  • "Ginny is really nice and funny. She got bad grades like me and she is an inspiring person." M.L. 
  • "The thing I won't forget is actually meeting her. I was really excited for today. I have never met an author in my whole life. She is really nice and she looks creative. It was sad when she left. Only if she could have stayed longer, but she couldn't." M.H. 
  • "I got good advice about writing and I was really happy about it." D.E.
  • "Best Time Ever :)" E.R.
  • "Her story changed the way I think about writing. Mrs. Ginny really changed my focus in life." C.M. 
  • "This was the 1st author I have ever met. It's nice to know authors are regular people that look at life the same way as you. I'm so glad I met Ginny." K.K.
  • "Her books are an inspiration to me. Also I love how she likes animals and is against their abuse." P.S.
  • "Amazing how she never gave up! Just listening to her tell about a teacher who was special to her was amazing. She's really amazing. She's such a great author and person. Today was great and I appreciate it. The first time meeting an author is something amazing." A.G.
  • "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet such a phenomenal author like Ginny." D.L. 
  • "Having Ginny at the school was interesting. It was life changing. She is successful even though she never did very good in school. She never gave up. And to think it started with an article of a dog that has been abused and abandoned. It makes me not want to give up." B.R.
  • "When I listen to you about life that kinda relates to my life as a bad kid, but still try my best and work hard for you. I love how you care about animals and try to care for them or protect them Also, you're such a funny, kind, beautiful, nice, sweet author." R.J. 
  • "I know if I try my best, I can do better in school. It's hard, but the things you learn and live for make it fun." J.N.
  • "I learn that if we pay attention in school, we can do well in the future." S.G.
  • "You are a very impressive woman and I think you inspired lots of people. I think people now will start actually thinking about things." Y.G. 
  • "I learned that even if I'm not good at something, just don't give up." M.O. 
  • "I really liked how much you like animals and how you explained how you can be worse in life but maybe in the future you can become an amazing, intelligent person." J.M. 

     And all throughout- gushing about how cool she was, how much they want to read her books or loved her books, and lots of thanks for coming and being the first author they ever met. Reading these notes and letters after the visit made it all come together for me; I loved having Ginny visit, but I cherish how important and exciting it was for my students. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nic Bishop's Frogs, Spiders, and Lizards

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: Frogs, Spiders, Lizards 
Author: Nic Bishop
Illustrator: Nic Bishop (photographs) 
Publisher: Scholastic 
Publication Date: 2007-2010 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Books 
GoodReads Summaries  
Frogs: For the first- to third-grade set, frogs are an endless source of fascination, especially when looked at VERY close up. See tiny poison dart frogs and mammoth bullfrogs, as Nic Bishop's amazing images show the beauty and diversity of frogs from around the globe. And simple, engaging text conveys basic information about frogs -- as well as cool and quirky facts. Nic Bishop Frogs is a fun and informative tour through an exciting amphibian world.
SpidersFor the first to third grade set, spiders are fascinating and suitably gruesome, especially when looked at in EXTREME close-up. Amazing images show the beauty and otherworldliness of spiders. Simple, engaging text conveys basic information about spiders as well as cool and quirky facts. One stop-action montage shows a spider leaping twenty times its body length!
Lizards: Another fascinating close-up look at the wonders of the natural world from Sibert Honor photographer Nic Bishop.  
     With breathtaking full-page images, including a double-gatefold spread, Sibert-Honor photographer Nic Bishop introduces the beauty and diversity of lizards.The simple, engaging text presents both basic information and fun, quirky facts about the appearance, habits, and life cycle of these amazing reptiles. An index and glossary are included.
What I Think: I only recently learned of Nic Bishop and his great non-fiction writing. I'm so glad! I've tried to be conscious about reading more non-fiction but I tend to gravitate towards narrative non-fiction more than true expository text. I'll read expository text but when Peanut brings home expository text (that's all he ever picks...he just loves non-fiction), I get pretty non-excited about the books. There are a few things that Nic Bishop does so well that really have me completely engaged and enamored with his books.
     First of all, the photographs are excellent. Some of the pictures are so close up, they are all sharp and they are positioned on the page so they go all the way to the edge of the page. All of this factors into a captivating non-fiction book. There are notes throughout that clarify the actual size of the animals in the pictures. This really helps put things into perspective. For examples, there is a fuzzy tarantula staring at me and the fact that it says he really, truly, honest-to-God is as big as a page in the book is pretty creepy. It makes me him come to life to know that he really is that big. Um...I have to close the book now. When I asked Peanut what he likes so much about these books, he said, "The pictures are awesome!"
     As a mom and a teacher, I love the text in these books! Every single time Peanut has brought a book home from his school library this year, it has been a non-fiction book. I've read quite a few snake books and lizard books and even more snake books. Most of them are fine but I love reading these books because the text shares really interesting facts about the animals. The text also connects from page to page. Oftentimes, I find that the text is divided into sections with the headers and subtitles. Bishop doesn't do that with these books, instead he shares a fact on one page and then elaborates on the next. In a sense, it almost does resemble a narrative read...except it's not. We found ourselves stopping to make connections and to revel in the remarkable facts we read about.
    Finally, Bishop adds a little bit of the unexpected to these books. All of a sudden there are two pages that open out and then you have a surprise - and usually amazing - picture under the flaps. I love the feeling of reading a book and then...wait a second, here's a surprise! It's perfect to break up the redundancy of turn the page, read a section, turn the page, read a section. AND, Bishop also encourages readers to flip back to other parts of the book here and there. I love that. One example of this is in Frogs when on page 8 there is a picture of a baby African bullfrog but the caption tells readers to turn to page 40 to see the adult African bullfrog. It's a great opportunity to switch things up a bit and it also reinforces the idea that expository non-fiction can be read out of order. Our natural instinct is to want to turn to the back and to want to compare and I think it's easy for kids to recognize that research and learning doesn't have to mean sitting down and reading straight through a non-fiction text all the time.
     When it comes down to it, we are really enjoying Nic Bishop's book at our house and I think this is exactly the kind of non-fiction text we want to see for students.  
Read Together:  
Read Alone:  
Read With:  
Snatch of Text: "Some spiders are as small as a grain of sand. The biggest, the Goliath birdeater tarantula from South America, is as big as a page in this book. Yet all spiders share similar features. They have eight legs, fangs, spin silk, and eat other animals. At first you might confuse them with insects. But it is easy to tell the difference. Insects have six legs; spiders have eight. And spiders never wings." p. 8
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Expository, Compare and Contrast 
Writing Prompts: After reading at least three of Nic Bishop's non-fiction books, take time to notice what is similar and what is different. What do you notice about his style of writing or his books? 
Topics Covered: Frogs, Spiders, Lizards, Integration - Science, Animals
 I *heart* It:


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover Reveal- Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

I am so happy to have the opportunity to share with you the newly revealed cover of 
Cheryl Rainfield's next young adult novel, Stained
Drum roll please......

The cover already shows me how intense the book is going to be and just like Cheryl's past novels, Stained will definitely be a special book for many a teen who find their solace in no other book. 

Book Description:
In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

Tag Line:
Sometimes you have to be your own hero.

Book Trailer:

Release Date:
Nov 19, 2013

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

From the author:
Like I did with SCARS and HUNTED, I drew on some of my own experiences of bullying, abuse, and trauma to write STAINED and to give it greater emotional depth. Like Sarah in STAINED, I experienced abduction, imprisonment, periods of forced starvation, mind control, and having my life threatened. And like Sarah, I tried hard to fight against my abuser, keep my own sense of self, and escape. I hope readers will see Sarah's strength and courage, and appreciate her emotional growth as she reclaims herself.

Available For Pre-Order on:

I hope you are as excited about reading this book as I am! 
*Thank you to Cheryl for asking TMT to be part of the cover reveal!*

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/28/13

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
After doing the meme for a couple of weeks, we realized this would be a fun meme to start up with a kidlit focus - anyone reading and reviewing books in children's literature - it can be picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, you name it in the world of kidlit and it's in! We have loved being a part of this meme and we hope you do too!  We encourage everyone participating to go and visit the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and to comment on as many posts as you can. We love talking books and believe in sharing and discussing what we're reading. We hope you join us!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Jen Says: I'm really loving my attempt to read a book every day and to take a picture with it. I feel like I'm reading lots of books but certainly less novels than I have in the past just because I get home later this year and have less time to spend with my kids and then I have found that being on the elliptical is much easier with a fun, girl movie rather than an audiobook lately (this week I watched Mean Girls and Pitch Perfect...). But the great thing is I am reading lots of picture books and early reader/chapter books. If you haven't read I'm Bored and Chloe and the Lion yet (which so many people have...), I definitely recommend them!
     I did finish Bossypants and Zen and the Art of Faking It on audio this week and I did make some progress with Hide and Seek and Navigating Early.
Kellee Says: I love seeing Jen's photos every week! The collage is so well done :) This week, as promised, I finished The Spiderwick Chronicles on audio and I was quite satisfied by the ending. I was a little worried when I started because I wasn't really on the Spiderwick bandwagon at first, but it really started to pick up in book 3 and came together in book 5. 
     I read 4 really interesting novels this week and all 4 are under the radar and should be on more. First, The Other Slipper by Kenechi Udogu which is the journey that accompanies Cinderella's other slipper. Then I read my favorite of the week- Under the Bridge which I cannot wait to share with you. It is definitely a book for your reluctant teen reader. After that I read Happy Families about siblings dealing with a huge change in their life which is very hard to talk about without sharing something that isn't in the summary of the book. If you'd like to know, check out my Goodreads review and read my spoiler. Last I read All You Never Read which, although the story didn't do it for me, Adele Griffin is obviously a talented writer. 

Reviewed Last Week:
Just click on any picture above to go read the review

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Jen Says: This week I'll keep reading Hide and Seek and Navigating Early. I'll be starting The False Prince on audio for sure and may get through it. If I do, I have The Forest of Hands and Teeth to try! Don't forget to sign up for our Book and Bookmark Swap!!!

Kellee Says: I've already started The Dangerous Days of Daniel X on audio and the verdict is still out. I can see why kids like the story, but I am not sure how I feel about it yet. I also started a new book today- A World Away by Nancy Grossman which I am super excited about! It is about a young Amish girl who is about to experience her rumspringa. Fascinated! I am so excited to read more of it. Next? Not sure :) 

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to hear about these books. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you please try to comment on at least the three blogs that posted before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

TMT's Book and Bookmark Swap Sign Up!

On Thursday, we announced our plan to host book and bookmark swaps throughout the year! In looking at comments and tweets, it seems like many people are excited to join in!

The first theme for our book and bookmark swap will be your favorite book or a book you think everyone should read. We invite you to choose any book in the children's literature to young adult age range and from any format from picture books to graphic novels to novels.

If you want to participate, please complete the form below. We do ask that you only fill out the form if you can wholeheartedly commit to the swap. It's no fun if someone doesn't get their book and bookmark. The timeline and expectations are below. Please read them over before your seal the deal.

Here is the timeline for our first swap:

Sign-up opens: 1/27/13 (see below)
Sign-up closes: 2/3/13
Receive name and information: 2/10/13
Mail your book and bookmark: 2/24/13

Choose one or both:
Send picture(s) of the book and bookmark you receive to us: 3/12/13
Post picture(s) of the book and bookmark you receive on your blog: 3/14/13
*We will share a slideshow of the pictures and have a linky so you can link your blog posts.*

We hope you are ready for some good ol' bookish fun! Sign up below!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

hello! hello!

Title: hello! hello! 
Author: Matthew Cordell 
Illustrator: Matthew Cordell 
Publisher: Hyperion 
Publication Date: October, 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Outside the world is bright and colorful, but Lydia's family is too busy with their gadgets to notice. She says Hello to everyone. Hello? Hello! Her father says hello while texting, her mother says hello while working on her laptop and her brother doesn't say hello at all. The T.V shouts Hello! But she doesn't want to watch any shows. Lydia, now restless, ventures outside. There are so many things to say hello to! Hello rocks! Hello leaves! Hello flowers! When Lydia comes back home she decides to show her family what she has found, and it's hello world and goodbye gadgets! 
What I Think:  At first I thought this was a silly book but then I realized how much it is a message about how we interact with each other and how that is impacted by technology. I often feel so connected with the world because of technology but it is amazing to stop and think about how normal face to face interactions are different today because of technology. Peanut has a friend from school who lives across the culdesac from us. My initial instinct most of the time is to call or text to see if they are available but I've purposefully stopped myself and instead marched ourselves on over to knock on their door. When I was a kid, I didn't grow up in a neighborhood with friends just a few houses away. Our house was down a half-mile lane with neighbors too far away. I always wanted to live in a regular neighborhood with friends to play with...and we have that now so I remind myself that we don't always have to call or text ahead of time, just stopping by is still okay.
     This book reminded me of the message in It's a Book by Lane Smith. I love how this could be used with students of all ages to talk about technology and imagination and taking advantage of the world we have all around us. I'm sure this would inspired intense discussions about the pros and cons of technology and how we use it appropriately and inappropriately!
Read Together: Grades K - 12 
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 6 
Read With: It's a Book! by Lane Smith, Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black, Oliver by Birgitta Sif, For Just One Day by Laura Leuck
Snatch of Text:  

Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions, Making Inferences 

Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Expository, Persuasive 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you put your imagination to work. With a friend, use your imagination to create a new game or a variation of a game you already know. Write a instructions for how to play this game. Write a persuasive essay about technology - is technology a good thing or a bad thing? 
Topics Covered: Imagination, Technology, Family
I *heart* It:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tilly's Moonlight Garden

Title: Tilly's Moonlight Garden
Author: Julia Garden
Illustrator: Paul Howard
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: October, 2012
Genre/Format: Magical-Realism/Novel
Goodreads Summary: Tilly just moved into a drafty old mansion, away from all her friends. She spends her afternoons wandering around her new backyard in order to escape the cold, dusty rooms of the house. But one night, Tilly follows a fox she has seen from her bedroom window and he leads her deep into a hidden garden that is nothing short of mesmerizing in the moonlight. This mysterious garden and the special friend she meets there help her rediscover the magic in her own life.
     This is the story of an unforgettable time in one girl's life and how a new home, a secret garden, and a little fox can change someone in the most unexpected ways.
What I Think: This book was one of the quiet books with a strong, young female protagonist. The story is written beautifully and accompanied by lovely drawings. Tilly is trying to come to terms with all of the changes in her life and she ends up finding comfort in a garden that she goes to alone, becomes the most magical at night, and is only visited by a girl who disappears as soon they say goodbye.  It is through this garden and Tilly's dreams that she begins to heal and feel more comfortable in her new home and with her new situation. 
     While reading, I had no trouble finding read-aloud sections, teachable moments, and places that could be paired with other excellent books. Tilly's story will be a great resource in the classroom and will find a home in many a children's hands. 
Read Together: Grades 3 to 6
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 7
Read With: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Hound Dog True by Linda Urban, Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
Snatch of Text: "Tap tap tap . . . Dad was busy in his study, typing at the laptop. Tilly listened. The taps made a sort of pattern, a rhythm, as if Dad was playing a tune instead of writing a story." (p. 25)
Mentor Text for: Point of view, Descriptive Writing/Imagery, Editing/Revising, Narrative, British Dialect, Mood
Writing Prompts: On pg. 1 & 11, the author chose to have the story told from the fox's point of view. Rewrite these scenes from Tilly's point of view imagining what you think she was doing. 
Topics Covered: Moving, Dreams, Subconscious, Stress, Pregnancy
I *heart* It:

**Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing the book for review**

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TMT's 2013 Bookmark/Book Swaps

When 2013 started, Jen and I had a chat about some fun things we wanted to do this year and one of the ideas we had was to do bookmark/book swaps. We started brainstorming, and decided that it was definitely something we wanted to try. Today, I am so excited to share with you how it'll work and hopefully get you all hyped up for it! 

We decided that we would host 4 swaps this year- one per season. For each swap, you will be assigned a person who you will mail a book and a matching bookmark to. The bookmark can be handmade or purchased. Each swap will have a theme to keep in mind when picking the book and bookmark. 

On the day we introduce the swap, there will be a form to sign up on. After the sign-up closes, Jen and I will send you an e-mail of who your swapper will be for that round as well as their address. You'll then have 2 weeks to purchase the book and make/purchase the bookmark then mail it. We'll then have a day for all of us to open them at the same time followed by a blog post a few days later where Jen and I will share everyone's goodies. We'll ask you to send photos of your prize to us so we can use it on the post. You can also post on your blog that day and link up on our blog. 

I am so excited for this! And I hope you are too! 
Jen will be introducing our Winter Swap on Sunday, 
so please come back then to sign up and learn what our first theme is!

Winter Swap Sign-up

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Gruesome Truth About...

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: The Gruesome Truth About... The GreeksThe Middle AgesThe Egyptians  
Author: Jillian Powell 
Illustrator: Matt Buckinham
Publisher: Wayland
Publication Date: Since 2008
Genre/Format: Non-fiction/Informational Text
Goodreads Summary: Covering different historical eras (The Egyptians, The Aztecs, The Romans, The Victorians, The Tudors, The Middle Ages, and The Vikings), this informative series details all the topics one would expect to find in a history series, such as family life, food, religion, entertainment and warfare. However, it focuses on the most gruesome parts of these topics.
What I Think: History was always one of the hardest subjects for me- I never found it that interesting. I was never sure if it was me or how I was taught it, but either way I have found that I love learning about history now. This is why historical fiction has become one of my favorite genres throughout the years. This also is why I love finding good informational non-fiction books about history that makes it seem more interesting than a bunch of dates that you have to memorize. 
Read Together: Grades 5 to 10
Read Alone: Grades 6 to 9
Read With: Non-fiction or Historical Fiction books covering the same time period. Ex. Athena's Son by Jeryl Schoenbeck or Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter with The EgyptiansGoddess Girls series by Joan Holub or Olympians series by George O'Connor with The Greeks; The Midwife's Apprentice or Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman with The Middle Ages
Snatch of Text: "Gruesome Truth: Some of the sports allowed kicking, punching, breaking fingers, and dislocating limbs." (The Greeks, p. 6)

"Gruesome Truth: Favorite takeout foods included roasted song thrushes (two for a penny) and sheep's feet." (The Middle Ages, p. 14) 

"Gruesome Truth: Some people were sold into slavery by their own families. Others sold themselves to escape debt, or were kidnapped from other countries or captured as prisoners of war." (The Egyptians, p. 10)
Mentor Text for: Non-fiction Text Features, Background Knowledge, Research, Expository, True/False
Writing Prompts: Using the "Further Information and Web Sites" that the author shares with you, research the time period you read about and find facts that you wish the author had included in the book.; Following the format of Jillian Powell's books, find information about our culture and make a "Gruesome Truth" spread about it.
Topics Covered: Mythology, Religion, History, Warfare, Food, Entertainment, Family Life
I *heart* Them:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Goldilocks and Just One Bear

Title: Goldilocks and Just One Bear 
Author: Leigh Hodgkinson  
Illustrator: Leigh Hodgkinson 
Publisher: Nosy Crow 
Publication Date: August, 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction-Fairy Tale/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: In this award-winning author/illustrator’s witty sequel to the traditional Goldilocks story, Little Bear is all grown up and Goldilocks is a distant memory. One day, Little Bear wanders out of the woods and finds himself lost in the Big City. Will he find the city too noisy? Too quiet? Or just right? And what are the chances of him bumping in to someone who remembers exactly how he likes his porridge? 
What I Think: Leigh Hodgkinson's artwork is colorful and playful and I am drawn to it every time (ever since Charlie and Lola...I adore them!). I love the sweet bear in this story...even if he does get a bit mixed up and if he does get a bit disrespectful to others' things. There are some great fractured fairy tales out there, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciezcka being one of my favorites, and Goldilocks and Just One Bear puts a modern twist on the classic Goldilocks story. I think kids will love predicting what's going to happen to the bear and may even be surprised to discover just exactly whose house he has wandered into...or maybe not, but either way, I think they'll be delighted with the ending. 
     As a mentor text, I really like Leigh's style of writing and the great word choice she employs in this book. There are some wonderful adjectives and vibrant verbs that make the story so much more appealing. Usually these fun and fanciful words are in a different typeset in the book so they stand out. I always enjoyed talking to students about adjectives. We would brainstorm synonyms or look them up in a thesaurus and then rank the words from least to most. For instance, one of the adjectives in this book is "soggy." Synonyms for soggy would be: wet, moist, soaked, damp, sopping wet. Then we would put them in order based on their intensity. The list might become, from least to most:
sopping wet
And you might put them in a totally different order...but I liked having the discussion with kids about where we would put them. We would come up with examples for when we would use these words and put them in sentences as we talked through how to use them. I love the thesaurus as a tool but if kids go to a thesaurus, they have to realize they can't just substitute words for each other. They have to realize the intentionality that goes with using one word over another. This is a great opportunity to talk about word choice and how greatly word choice impacts writing. 
Read Together: Grades K - 5 
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5 
Read With: Other versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears 
Snatch of Text:   
"Once upon a time, there was this bear.

One minute, he was strolling in the woods,
all happy-go-lucky...

The next minute, he didn't have a crumb-of-a-clue
where he was.

He was one 
lost bear."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences, Making Predictions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive, Word Choice, Adjectives, Compound Adjectives, Compare and Contrast, Personal Narrative, Repetition,   
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were lost - whether you were confused or really not sure where you were. How did you feel? What did you do in this situation? Compare this story to the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears. What did the author change? What did the author imply about the decision that the bear made compared to Goldilocks' decisions from the traditional story?
Topics Covered: Confusion, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Making Decisions
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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/28/2023

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