Jen Bryant is a biographer whose recently released picture book, Above the Rim, is a worthy mentor text. Jen stops by TWT to chat with Stacey about some of the most important things kids can keep in mind when they’re researching and writing stories about famous people or everyday heroes. Watch the interview, look through some excerpts from her newest picture book biography, and then leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball.
While books about oppression, struggle, and suffering are of critical importance to read and discuss with children, so are books about Black joy and about the daily lives of Black children. I’ve curated a list of ten new (i.e., published in 2019 and 2020) texts that focus on Black people living life. Depending on who your students are, these books could serve as mirrors, windows, and/or sliding glass doors.
Kelly Starling Lyons shares about her experience of writing Dream Builder, a picture book biography about Philip G. Freelon, an architect who created he National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Kaia and the Bees is a picture book you can use as a mentor text in narrative writing units. The book contains many craft moves, which makes it perfect for using in minilessons, writing conferences, and strategy lessons. Learn more about the book and take a peek inside of it.
I’ve found a hybrid mentor text that will inspire young writers and budding activists.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Scot Ritchie’s new book, Join the No-Plastic Challenge.
Every writing workshop I’ve ever taught or consulted in has had at least one child who is in perpetual motion. Many times, that child is the kid who talks their classmates during independent writing time, interrupts their teacher during a writing conference, or cannot respect their peers’ space in the meeting area. The first few weeks of school are the perfect time to begin conversations about living in a classroom community where all learners have different needs.
Susan Verde, author of Unstoppable Me, chats with Stacey about the ways we can build classroom writing communities that welcome kids with who are often seen as having “too much” energy.
Just as we reflect our teaching practices in the summertime, we can rethink some of the mentor texts we use and find new ones to share with students in minilessons, writing conferences, and strategy lessons.
Consider sharing these six books with your fact-loving students.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win all six books for your classroom library.
Matthew Cordell’s new picture book provides inspiration for kids to CHOOSE to write when they’re snowed-in during the winter. Read through my Q&A with Cordell to start thinking about how you could encourage your students to decide to write when they’re homebound this winter.
After you read the Q&A, leave a comment on this blog post for the chance to win a copy of King Alice.
Add six new picture books to your back-to-school read alouds and to your mentor text collection this fall.
After you read through this post, be sure to leave a comment about how you’d use these books in your classroom for a chance to win all six of them.
Author and illustrator Melissa Iwai explains how cooking provides many teachable aspects to explore, such as counting, observing, and following a series of steps.
Did you know that Ada Lovelace was able to imagine how a machine could not only calculate any number you gave it, but also create music and visual images–100 years before computers were invented? Read the story behind the story with author Tanya Lee Stone who steps into our Author Spotlight today.
Meet Lester Laminack at the corner of story and information. You’ll chat a while. He’ll introduce you to a couple of characters and walk with you through the South Carolina Lowcountry. And hopefully you’ll leave filled with new information.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows how concerned I’ve been about the state of affairs in our country. I’ve been making phone calls, signing petitions, and showing … Continue Reading A Conversation with Amy June Bates & Juniper Bates + a Book Giveaway
These books serve to comfort children during what is a serious and uncertain time. After reading this post, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of all five books.
As educators, we are uniquely positioned to teach children to respect and love each other. We have the power to show them how to make the world a better place. We can shape the next generation of children so they will choose to be accepting of people who look different, have a different set of beliefs, or originate from a different cultural background. This is an enormous responsibility, but we are fortunate if we can do this work to bring about change in our corners of the world.
Summer is the perfect time to seek out new mentor texts for your writing workshop. This post contains 20+ new picture book — fiction and nonfiction — suggestions that you can use to lift the level of your students’ writing. Plus, there are book giveaways! (Be sure to read the giveaway information carefully at the bottom of the post.)
Author and Illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo talks about the way she tackled the Syrian Refugee Crisis in her new picture book, My Beautiful Birds.
These ten picture books will not only teach students about important topics in science, but they’ll also help kids become better writers.
Picture books are short, visual, and engaging, which makes them perfect for using as mentor texts with elementary AND secondary students.