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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Workshop Wednesday (mentor texts) and Spring Sale!

After the first Tried It Tuesday linky yesterday, my brain is just swimming with tons of ideas!  I read all your posts and am so excited that I had link ups!!  I was reading, commenting, pinning, bookmarking, and taking notes until well past midnight (hey, I'm on spring break!).  
The blogging world is just wonderful!  I love reading accounts of things real teachers have tried and then when I have a question, I can just ask!  
Everyone is SO helpful.  Thank you, thank you!

Today, I am super excited to link up with a bloggy bestie, Jivey, from Ideas by Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday!  
This week's topic is mentor texts to teach author's craft. 
 There are so many choices but I decided to highlight a two that I have used recently.  
My class read Can't You Make Them Behave, King George before break and I love this book for teaching point of view.
Using this guide, we made a diagram of the Point of view comparing and contrasting King George III, the American Patriots, and Jean Fritz (author of the book). 
We also took notes on different types of point of view.  
I used these point of view notes as a a guide that I found here:

We read various sections of the text from Can't You Make them Behave, King George (3rd person point of view) and then I had the students work in pairs and read a page in 1st person and a page in 2nd person.  They changed the pronouns as they read.  
It is very challenging but good practice and it seems to "stick" with them.  

I used this resource for a point of view project last year.  They loved it!  This year, my students will work on this after spring break and I will take pictures to share with you. 

Each student is assigned a Loyalist or Patriot personality from the Revolutionary War to research and create a character role based on the facts and inferences students make.  They write their character role in 2nd person (using "you").  When the character roles are finished, I assign put the students in groups of 4 or 5 and give them a character role (one that they did not write).  I try to have a mix of Loyalists and Patriots in the group.  Next, the group creates a role play based on their group's characters' beliefs.  They practice and then perform their skits.  The rest of the class must determine if each group member is a Loyalist or Patriot based on their dialogue.  I want to work on a better assessment tool this year and have students more of a part of the process.  I just attended a writing module training for the Common Core and having students involved in the assessment criteria was discussed at the training.  This type of assignment was highly recommended for addressing the Common Core and that made me feel like I am doing something right (once in awhile, anyway:).

Here are some snapshots of the assignment (not full pages):

Sample character roles written in 2nd person:
Here are some more point of view activities on Read Works.  
I haven't used them yet but want to incorporate them after break.
A 4th grade unit is here and a 3rd grade unit is here.

I also wanted to share with you a great picture book that can be used to teach so many aspects of author's craft!  It is the book, Encounter by Jane Yolen.  Bookmark this for next year during your European Explorer's unit!
I used this awesome pack from Collaboration Cuties to accompany this book!  
(Sorry the picture is so blurry.)

Main Idea/Details

Making Inferences (there are so many examples!)
 I love this page on reviewing figurative language also.  We are going to complete this as a review of similes, metaphors, and personification after spring break before the big test!

What are a few mentor texts that you use in your classroom?  
Link up with Jivey or go back and check out what others have linked up!

Also, I am joining some blogging friends to have a spring sale starting tomorrow at my TPT and TN stores!  Don't you love the cute graphic by Tonya at Tonya's Treats for Teachers?


  1. Encounter is a new book to me. Can't wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Encounter is one of my favorites too! It was actually a course book for one of my classes in college.

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  3. Love both of these books!! Thanks for linking up! :)
    ideas by jivey

  4. I have never heard of Encounter but I am using Jane Yolen's Mary Celeste next week. Thanks for the new book idea.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  5. Awww, thanks for the shout out!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea for the Loyalist vs. the Patriots! I'm so gonna use this next year!! Pinning it!!

    We wrote a little about a linky we are starting this weekend. Maybe you could link up? It's about using mentor texts...I know there are tons of linkies, but maybe you can link up now and then? :O)
    Collaboration Cuties