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A Mentor Text to Inspire the Next Generation of Writers and Activists + a Book Giveaway

A recent trip to the supermarket with my reusable bags.
  • I’m the lady who brings reusable grocery bags to the supermarket. 
  • I’m the lady who has a Klean Kanteen water bottle in her car and her bedroom.
  • I’m the lady who packs her daughter’s school lunches in a Planetbox.


These are just a few of the things I do in an effort to do my part at cutting down on single-use plastic. But I’m far from perfect. (For instance, I pack a plastic spoon with my daughter’s lunch twice a week when she brings yogurt to school. One of these days I’ll get around to buying reusable bamboo utensils…) 


When I encountered Join the No-Plastic Challenge: A First Book of Reducing Waste, written and illustrated by Scot Ritchie, I was unsure what to expect. Was the book going to be for kids like mine or was it going to appeal to all kids to make a difference? Further, was the book going to be preachy or would it be persuasive? I was pleasantly surprised when I turned the pages of the book and found a hybrid-text that included a story about a boy who challenges his friends to celebrate his birthday with a no-plastic day.  While the top portion of each page takes readers through he story, there is a bold-faced text on the bottom of each page spread that informs young readers about reducing waste and/or explains the narrative component of the story with facts.


This is the time of year when many classrooms transition from writing narratives to informational or opinion-based pieces. As a result, I thought this would be an excellent mentor text to share with students since it illustrates how we can teach readers about a topic while engaging them with narrative writing simultaneously. In addition, Ritchie includes a variety of engaging page spreads, a glossary, and other text features, which make the information he presents accessible for students.


Finally, because I’m the lady who uses reusable grocery bags, Klean Kanteens, and takes pride in packing her daughter’s lunches in a Planetbox, I feel it is up to us to teach kids how to say no to single-use plastic whenever possible. Join the No-Plastic Challenge allows us to initiate conversations with children that can help us reducing, reusing, recycling, and refusing.

 
Here are a few interior page spreads from Ritchie’s book:


NOTE: A review copy of Join the No-Plastic Challenge was provided by Kids Can Press.


Giveaway Information:

  • This giveaway is for a copy Join the No-Plastic Challenge: A First Book of Reducing Waste. Many thanks to Kids Can Press for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy of Join the No-Plastic Challenge, leave a comment about this post by Sunday, October 13th at 11:59 a.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Tuesday, October 15th. You must have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address to enter the giveaway.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Kids Can Press will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – NO-PLASTIC CHALLENGE. Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

52 thoughts on “A Mentor Text to Inspire the Next Generation of Writers and Activists + a Book Giveaway Leave a comment

  1. First of all I love, love the topic. Getting kids (or adults) to think about how our actions/ decisions/ choices can have a bigger impact than we realize. Second, I love how the book is set up in a very engaging way, with a call to action!

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  2. Sounds like a useful and entertaining book! Will have to look for this to add to my classroom collection! Thanks for the review. I love the idea of a no-plastic challenge (or maybe a low-plastic challenge since it seems to be everywhere).

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  3. I love it when I can use the published works of authors to both engage and guide my writers!
    In my writing conferences today, I asked students to bring their independent reading book to their writing conference and I had them find examples in their text that would help them work on the writing goal we set for their own work!

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  4. I would put a review of this book on Amazon.com as I do with every book I read. I’d also recommend it on FB and Goodreads and B&N.

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  5. This is great! Taking Informed Action is one of the 4 dimensions of the C3 Social Studies Standards. This book will be an excellent addition to emphasize the important role of responsible citizens and the common good! Thanks for sharing this title.

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  6. As an interventionist and reading teacher, I am receiving inquiries on great mentor texts for writing. This text will fit the bill with informational/nonfiction writing. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. WOW! What a wonderful book helping teach our youngest influencers to be mindful of their waste. This would be a great addition to any library!

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  8. It’s never too early to teach kids to be good stewards of our planet. This book will make it a lot more fun. I’ll share with my fourth graders and my curious two at home.
    I get the feeling this is going to turn into a schoolwide project!!

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  9. We use reusable bags, too, and in recent years my speech and Comm students often chose environmental topics. Some have even brought reusable shopping bags for their peers.

    As a child my father insisted we reuse sand which bags, and I’d dutifully wash them. One lasted a week if I was careful. At the time, I thought the reusing was because we were poor. Now I see it as so much more.

    I love books that both tell a story and provide important information.

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  10. I am trying to do more with the beautiful hybrid texts I have been seeing lately. This one looks so engaging and sends a powerful message!! I would love a blog post on how to approach the hybrid format in read aloud.

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  11. This book will partner well with our 5th grade environmental education unit. Our focus is on fresh water studies. The amount of plastic and other debris found in our Great Lakes is unfathomable.

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  12. I have been looking for a hybrid text read aloud and just started an environmental literacy unit on zero waste! This book is perfect for my students. Thank you for always sharing wonderful work!

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  13. I would share this book with my colleague who is head of our recycling and waste management program at school. She works really hard with our student council to make sure we have the systems and organization in place to manage to recycling program for our classrooms, office and cafeteria.

    She and I would be able to use this text across the grades to support shared writing and independent writing.

    I imagine great signage, letters and feature articles being written with the support of this text.

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  14. I like how this author paired the narrative and expository nonfiction. I think this type of text will make it easier for my students to understand the difference. “Join the No-Plastic Challenge” would be a great addition to my mentor text library.

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  15. I have a sixth grade student who is passionate about this. She has started a recycling program in our school and their first project is to collect plastic grocery bags for reuse by a local food pantry. I carry my own reusable grocery bags and try to do what I can, but it’s hard in a culture that puts the straw in the glass without you requesting it. We have such a long way to go.

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  16. This would be a great addition to our current research. My class spent the month of September researching and learning more about plastic waste and the impact of micro-plastics on our oceans. We spoke with 4 different marine biologist and experts in this field who helped us dig deeper into this topic. Thank you for this opportunity to win “Join the No Plastic Challenge: A First Book of Reducing Waste.”

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  17. This is perfect for me! I’ve started a low waste classroom challenge this year and I’m planning on including the instructional piece with our how to unit!

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  18. This book sounds wonderful! I did a hybrid text once with my third graders where they write s poem and write a short nonfiction text to go with it based on a book I read but I can’t remember the author.

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  19. Connecticut has gone plastic free. Our school has also started composting during lunch… all lead by kids. Kids can make a difference. Thanks for sharing this text. I can see it in many of our classrooms!

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  20. I love the hybrid text! I am finding, as an intervention teacher that a good number of kids have difficulty identifying whether a book is fiction or non fiction when a narrative is involved. This book would provide great opportunities for conversations on many levels. Boydenamy@gmail.com

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