Posts tagged ‘transition words’
Retell: Every year the mice in Mousopolis have an annual barbecue cook-off. The festivities were interrupted one year when the aroma from the cook-off awoke Dogzilla. The mice band together and eventually defeat Dogzilla by attacking him with a mighty weapon–a dog bath.
Topics: dogs, mice, teamwork
Units of Study: Fantasy
Tribes: personal best
Habits of Mind: persisting, thinking flexibly, thinking interdependently, applying past knowledge
Writing Skills: using dashes, using transitional phrases
My Thoughts: I’ve read this book about five times this summer and each time I read it I giggle to myself. What makes this a fun and engaging read aloud are the illustrations. Pilkey created characters out of his pet mice and pet Corgie. I love how the ferocious monster in the story is a cute cuddly dog who looks so happy in each picture. I think it will be a good read aloud for introducing Habits of Mind. When finding a way to beat Dogzilla they ‘persist,’ ‘think flexibly and interdependently’ and ‘apply past knowledge.’ This may also be a good mentor text for students writing fantasy stories. Students could try generating story ideas by doing what Dav Pilkey did and cast one’s pets as characters in a fantasy story.
24. Owen and Mzee: The Language of Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Topics: tsunami, hippos, tortoises, wildlife, preservation, Kenya, friendship, biology, animal habitats, narrative nonfiction, biography
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Personal Essay, Content-Area Reading and Writing
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, determining importance, inference
Writing Skills: using transitional phrases, using quotation marks that note unusual usage
My Thoughts: Be ready for a chorus of “ahhh”s if you choose to read this book aloud to your students. Every photograph is absolutely adorable. A lot can be learned from this pair. I plan to use this book during my Content Area Reading and Writing units. Owen and Mzee includes both narrative and expository text making it a good teaching text during the Nonfiction unit as well. One could even use this during a biography unit since it’s telling a life story.
Retell: It seems like everyone in school has a pair of black high tops with white stripes–everyone but Jeremy. Jeremy’s grandmother only has enough money for a pair of boots. When they spot a pair of “those shoes” at a thrift shop, Jeremy buys them with his own money, only to find out that they’re too small. He is then faced with a difficult decision–does he keep his blister-causing shoes or give them to a friend.
Topics: shoes, needs and wants, fads, money, grandparents, decisions, friendship, generosity
Units of Study: Character, Talking and Writing About Texts, Literary Essay, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best, community building
Reading Skills: inference, prediction, making connections
Writing Skills: using dashes, transitional phrases, incorporating a balance of dialogue and summary
My Thoughts: My fabulous student teacher introduced this book to me last year. Every year it seems there is some sort of expensive fad: Tech decks, sidekicks, iphones, sneakers, smencils. My heart breaks when I think about the students who are being teased just because they don’t have the latest fad. Those Shoes is a book to address this issue. It is an ideal book to read aloud to discuss the differences between need and want. I can see reading this book aloud during a Social Issues unit. I could also see using this as a text to analyze during a literary essay unit.
Topics: dandelions, flowers, life cycle, narrative nonfiction
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area Reading and Writing
Reading Skills: prediction, determining importance, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: incorporating transitional phrases, including text features
My Thoughts: A Dandelion’s Life is but one of several narrative nonfiction books in the Nature Upclose Series. After reading this book I had a new appreciation for the dandelion. This is a decent, simple example of narrative nonfiction that could be used as a mentor text during the Content-Area Reading and Writing unit. If you’re a fourth grade teacher in New York, you will be pleased with how well this book could align with the Science unit: Food Chains and Life Cycles. Our fourth grade team is considering aligning that Science unit with the Content-Area Reading and Writing units, making A Dandelion’s Life a perfect read aloud fit. The illustrations don’t just exclusively feature the dandelion. Throughout the narrative butterflies, snakes, fireflies, birds and crickets make appearances. I can envision readers using the illustrations to envision the habitat of each creature. I think I’m going to keep my eye out for more books in this series.
Retell: After purchasing a red canoe at a yard sale, a family goes on a three-day canoe trip.
Topics: Family, adventure, camping
Units of Study: Personal Narratives, Launching the Writers Notebook
Tribes: Personal Best
Reading Skills: envisionment, making connections, inference
Writing Skills: incorporating details about setting, using transition words, including sensory details, writing endings that connect to the beginning
My thoughts: This book has great teaching potential. As the marbled cover suggests it reads like someone’s writers notebook. Each page describes a scene from the camping trip. I can imagine using this book when I introduce writers notebooks to my students. Each page is a small moment that could be stretched into a larger story. The colorful, colored pencil drawings will be inspiring for young artists who like to draw pictures with each notebook entry. I plan on using this as a mentor text for students who want to write endings that connect to an earlier scene.