Mentor Text/Picture Book Linky {Only One You}

At the start of the year, our Social Studies unit revolves around teaching students to be good citizens.  I don't technically teach Social Studies, but this fits in perfectly with all of the back to school themed books that everyone is using during the first days of school anyway.

This is one of my favorite books...that I actually forgot to even use with my students this year!  I'll remember next year, because while I was on Amazon looking for images, I noticed the author has created a second book as a follow up to the first. 

The book is called "Only One You" by Linda Kranz.  I actually learned of it at a workshop many years ago when the presenter read it aloud.  I don't have a clue what the training was about, but at least I got something out of it!  The book is basically about two parents giving advice to their son as he enters the world.  The "characters" are fish and the illustrations are beautiful.  The images look like painted rocks or pebbles and every one of them is unique, which goes along with the title.

Some of the language might be a little "deep" for younger kids, but I have used it with first graders and they were able to get the message just fine with some guidance and paraphrasing.  The book offers advice such as be your own person, appreciate the beauty around you, make new friends, and stand out when you can.

In the past, I have given my students each an oval shape and let them decorate their own fish, just like the ones in the book to emphasize that we are all different.

It would also make a great gift for an adult, maybe for graduation or something.  It is a smaller hardcover book - not as large as the picture books we normally have, but definitely large enough to read aloud.

The second book, which is going in my Amazon cart right away, is called "You Be You."  It has the same pretty illustrations and looks to emphasize the theme that we are all different.  The language looks to be catered to younger children as well.  

First Grade and Fantabulous is holding a linky party for picture books used during the first week of school.  

Here are a few more books that I like to use at the start of the school year along the same theme:

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  1. That book looks fantastic. I totally want to use it for the beginning of school. I think I would consider giving each student a rock to paint and keep in a jar in our class to go with it. I love Do Onto Otters!

  2. Wow, this book looks beautiful! How fun! I have never heard of it. I think when a book has these kinds of messages, kids are never too old to hear it! I'm so glad you linked them up!

    I'm with AMC. I was thinking I'd have them paint a rock! Cute idea! :O)

    I read all of the other ones that you mentioned at the beginning of the year too! All great books!

    Collaboration Cuties

  3. This looks like a great book! Thanks for the suggestion!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  4. Do Unto Otters looks adorable! I'll have to check it out for next year!

    Ms. Cranfill's Class

  5. Hey! Just found your blog! Where near Houston do you teach? I teach 2nd Grade ELA in Pearland (alvin isd) and used to teach in Katy ISD. :) Great to find another Houston blogger!


    First Grade Fabulosity (2nd Grade)

  6. I so need that book!! Thanks for sharing and linking up! :)

    First Grade and Fabulous

  7. I WANT that book! Thank you so much for sharing your excellent find :)
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  8. I like the idea of the oval fish craftivity to go along with the book- great idea! I love this book. Now that there's a new one out, I'll have to add that to my wish list!


  9. Thanks so much for this post! Just found the book today in my online travels, and linked it up along with another for the back to school linky today. Missed this post about the book for the social studies week. Thanks so much for all of the info about how you have used the book with kids. I look forward to using both of her books this fall... AND doing some art, too!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers


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