As the weather warms up, The Reading Crew is here to bring you mentor texts and freebies for spring! Each blogger is sharing a favorite spring themed mentor text along with corresponding reading and/or writing activities that are free at least through this weekend. You will find all the participating bloggers as well as a rafflecopter for an Amazon gift card at the end of this post.
The book I chose for this hop is It's Mine by Leo Lionni. It's actually one of the $5 Kohl's Cares books this month so I just picked it up and read it for the first time the other day. It's a sweet book with a moral simple enough for younger kids to understand (the copy I have actually calls it a fable on the front cover), a clear beginning, middle, and end, and it also incorporates some great vocabulary.
Basically, there are three frogs sharing a pond only they are constantly arguing and saying, "It's mine." They don't want to share and are quite unhappy and bothering everyone else with their bickering. Then there is a dangerous rainstorm and the frogs end up huddling together to make it through, comforting one another. By the end of the story, the frogs realize they are much happy getting along and sharing their home.
I posted this past week on Adventures in Literacy Land about using word clouds as a pre-reading activity (see this post). But, the texts I used were nonfiction. So I decided to give it a try with this book to see how it would work.
I made the word cloud on www.wordle.net and limited it to just 50 words so that it wasn't too overwhelming. While not as simple as using a word cloud of a nonfiction text, I do still think this could be a different option for pre reading. Students should be able to infer the setting (an island/pond) and share some background knowledge about it. Also, the three character names are present and students could likely infer that they are either frogs or toads, thus leading to determining that the book is fiction. The title of the book is "It's Mine" and mine is a large word in the word cloud as well, so students might be able to infer what the problem is in the text. This word cloud as well as a blank and white version is included in the freebie.
The text contains some difficult vocabulary primary for the word argue so I made a vocabulary sort to use before (or after) reading the text as well. There are three sets of cards: words that mean argue, words that mean yell, and words that mean hop. If I was doing this with my second graders, I would give them each a card and have them sort themselves into three groups after giving them the categories. If working with younger students, you might introduce less words if you think they'd have trouble. The first three words on each page are the ones included in the text. The other cards are just synonyms. A black and white version is also included in the freebie.
I made two wheels that students can use to examine how either the frogs' feelings OR actions change throughout the story. They are fairly similar, it would just depend on what you want to focus on. You could also use paper plates to do this. The text has a fairly apparent beginning, middle, and end. Students could then use the wheels to retell to a partner. I included a blank ones in the freebie that you could use for any text as well.
As an extension, I made a theme graphic organizer for students to state the theme and provide evidence from the text to support their reasoning. I have made this before for other seasons/holidays and it's worked out well. You could really use it for any spring themed story if you want! Another extension option would be to have students make a personal connection to the theme.
To download everything you see above to use with the text (or others!), click on the image below and you will find it all (for FREE) in the Google doc.
In case you didn't catch it, my mystery word is frogs. Collect the mystery word from each of the posts in the hop and record them on the sheet below. Enter them in the rafflecopters below.
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