Penguins {Must Read Mentor Text Linky}

We have the text "Penguin Chick" in our reading series and always use it because the kids love it and it fits perfectly with winter.  But, the text itself doesn't have any text features other than photographs.  It's a cute book and it's great for identifying the topic/main idea/details, but my students also need to learn about captions, headings, diagrams, etc.

Also, I just hate reading the same text day after day so I try to add in other books on the same topics or themes.  I picked up this book just wandering around Barnes and Noble last year.  It was probably on sale or something.  

Images from

It's not exactly a read aloud, because it's FULL of information but it is also full of text features…every kind you can think of.  It's also good to use as a reference when referring back to those K-W-L's we always make because it has more specific information that can be used to answer student questions.  

But, the best part of the book is something I didn't even know I was getting!  It came with some sort of code for a digital book about Antarctica.  I downloaded it and it's awesome!  It's an interactive PDF file with quizzes, videos, text, glossary, and more.  You can just click back and forth between the reading and the glossary, etc…you don't follow it page by page.  It's great for showing to the entire class with a smart board and using to identify text features, main idea of sections, or to model referring back to the text to locate facts.  Amazon shows that it still comes with the digital book.  

After the kids have a better idea of text features, I like to go back to "Penguin Chick" in their basal and have them write headings and captions for the page in the text using stickies.

Today is the last day of the 2nd grade Facebook hop.  There are lots of great freebies.  You can get some winter graphic organizers on my page perfect for nonfiction texts.  Tomorrow they will be a paid item.  Look for the Facebook hop button.  For more information on the hop, see yesterday's post.  If I reach 2,000 Facebook followers, I am putting all my winter items on sale for $1 for the rest of the day.  Only 100 more to go!

I'm off to check out the other books that have been linked up…and then I'll have to look for them on Amazon because I am now banned from my public library until I located or pay for two Henry and Mudge books (to the tune of $60 - seriously!?).  This is what my account says:

Clearly it is cheaper to just buy the books!  You might think I could negotiate with them, but I'm a habitual offender so I don't know…I'm hoping one of my kids knows where they are.

Then it's onto working and getting organized.  We go back tomorrow and there's no chance for snow or below zero temps here in TX.  There is a freeze warning though, but the lowest temps I see are in the twenties overnight.

Make sure to enter Fourth Grade Flipper's and Head Over Heels for Teaching's 1,000 follower giveaway.  You could win a $50 gift card to Amazon.

Have a great day and stay warm.  Try not to work too hard!


  1. Love this! My students really enjoy our Penguin unit, and I have fun challenging myself to make it as rigorous and CCSS aligned as possible.

    Great post!

    A Rocky Top Teacher

  2. Thanks so much for the shout out Jessica! I LOVE that two awesome things happened to you by accident: you stumbled upon that awesome book and it has a digital book with tons of resources! Score! What a great resource for your KWL charts-I bet all your students want to look at this book! Great way to intrigue them! Happy Sunday friend!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. Kids really do love nonfiction when it is about animals! How awesome that you scored an online extra with that book!! That's awesome! It looks fun to learn about penguins!! Good luck tomorrow! And good luck with that library fine! ;0)
    Thanks for linking up


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