Mentor Texts for Reading Strategies

Mentor Texts for Monitor/Clarify. . .

Choose texts that will allow you to model the desired comprehension monitoring behavior (e.g., noticing picture clues, using context clues).

Consider texts of various genres.

Some Making Connections Mentor Texts

Choose texts on topics that students are likely to have some background knowledge.

Consider texts on topics that are familiar to students so that students are more likely to connect new information to what they already know to construct meaning.

A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting / Grade(s): 3-5 / Summary: A boy and his grandfather work as day laborers. The boy learns a lesson after making a mistake and seeing his grandfather’s reaction. Teaching Points: text-to-world connections; see also making inferences  Level K

Advice to a Frog by Alice Schertle / Grade(s): 3-5 / Summary: Fourteen poems about animals, many with environmental overtones. Teaching Points: text-to-world connections (environmental issues); see also creating sensory images.  Level O

Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki / Grade(s): 4-5 / Summary: Narrative story of a boy’s family’s move to and time in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Carries reader through time when baseball unified the group and offered opportunity for personal growth. Teaching Points: text-to-self connections (teasing, feelings of inferiority), text-to-world connections (Pearl Harbor, immigration issues)  Level O

The Basket Moon by Mary Lyn Ray / Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: The story of a young boy whose father makes baskets in a rural community and travels to town to sell them. Teaching Points: text-to-text connections with Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall; see also creating sensory images; cross-curricular connections to social studies  Level O

The Cello of Mr. O by Jane Cutler /Grade(s): 4-5 /Summary: First person narrative of a girl’s life during wartime in a devastated city. The music from her neighbor, “Mr. O,” provides inspiration and gives her courage. Teaching Points: text-to-self connections (fear, worry, perceptions of elderly); text-to-text connections (Old Henry, other war stories); text-to-world connections (no power/ice storm, perceptions of elderly)  Level M

Come On, Rain by Karen Hesse/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A young girl and her mother endure the heat of a summer day and wait for the rain to bring relief. Teaching Points: text-to-self connections; see also sensory images  Level P

Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg/ Grade(s): 3-5/Summary: Narrative told from a young boy’s perspective about Jackie Robinson and the integration of baseball. Teaching Points: text-to-text connections with Jackie’s Bat by Marybeth Lorbiecki (different perspectives of the same historical event)  Level R

My Ol’ Man by Patricia Polacco/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: Patricia and her brother are spending the summer with their father and grandmother. When the father loses his job, the family finds hope in a magical rock and later realizes that the magic was inside them all the time. Teaching Points: text-to-self/world connections (loss of job, struggle to maintain hope)  Level N

Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant/ Grade(s): 3-5/Summary: Various short stories about animals that inspires many connections. For example, in “Papa’s Parrot” Harry Tillian stops visiting his father’s candy shop as he grows up. Mr. Tillian buys a parrot named Rocky to keep him company. After Mr. Tillian becomes ill, Harry learns an important lesson. Teaching Points: text-to-self/text/world connections  Level R

Granddaddy’s Gift by Margaree King Mitchell/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, an African-American grandfather volunteers to register to vote. Despite the dangers, he longs for his granddaughter’s life to be better and for her to have greater opportunity./ Teaching Points: text-to-text connections (use with other books about struggles of African-Americans); see also synthesizing  Level O

The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: A young girl is cared for by her grandparents. The family has a special window where she is greeted and waves goodbye. This book demonstrates how special family experiences can create memories that last forever. Teaching Points: text-to-self connections  Level K

Lightning by Seymour Simon/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: Lightning is explored through dramatic photographs and vivid descriptions. Kids love this book! Teaching Points: text-to-self/world connections; see also creating sensory images; cross-curricular connections to science  Level P

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: The story of relatives visiting from Virginia. Teaching Points: text-to-self connections  Level K

Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson and James Ransome/ Grade(s): 4-5/Summary: Beautifully illustrated story about a slave girl who escapes on the Underground Railroad. Teaching Points: text-to-world connections; see also creating sensory images; cross-curricular connections to history/social studies  Level N

The Wall by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A boy and his father go to the Vietnam Memorial to see the grandfather’s name. Teaching Points: text-to-self/world connections (losses of war, memorial items, wounded veterans, gravestone rubbings)  Level N

MORE….

The Pain and the Great One, Judy Blume  Level N

Going Home, Eve Bunting  Level K

Roxaboxen, Barbara Cooney  Level M

Oliver Button is a Sissy, Tomie de Paola  Level J

When I Was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up, Amy Ehrlich  Level U

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, Mem Fox  Level K

Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems about Growing Up, Donald Graves  Level P

Wemberley Worried, Kevin Henkes  Level H

Julius, Baby of the World, Kevin Henkes  Level K

Chrysanthemum, Keven Henkes  Level L

Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman  Level J

My Great Aunt Arizona, Gloria Houston  Level M

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats  Level J

Hey World, Here I Am!, Jean Little  Level S

All the Places to Love, Patricia MacLachlan  Level M

Some Birthday!, Patricia Polacco  Level M

When I Was Young in the Mountains, Cynthia Rylant  Level K

Amos and Boris, William Steig  Level L

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst  Level L

Ira Sleeps Over, Bernard Waber  Level L

William’s Doll, Charlotte Zolotow  Level L

Some Inferring Mentor Texts

Also see Inference titles under Literary Devices:  http://www.mrsjudyaraujo.com/mentor-texts-containing-literary-devices/

Choose texts that contain some ambiguity in which all information/details are not explicitly stated. Fictional texts with thought-provoking characters and themes work well.

Consider texts that encourage the reader to think about what they know and merge their thinking with clues in the text to make an inference and deepen their understanding.           Wordless picture books work well!

A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A boy and his grandfather work as day laborers. The boy learns a lesson after making a mistake and seeing his grandfather’s reaction. Teaching Points: text-to-world connections; see also making inferences   Level K

A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 3-5/Summary: A boy and his family make an annual trip to Battery Park to celebrate the anniversary of his grandparents’ immigration to America. Teaching Points: making inferences, especially about characters actions and unspoken words; cross-curricular connections to social studies (immigration)  Level P

Crickwing by Janell Cannon/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: Tired of being bullied, a cockroach with a twisted wing begins picking on smaller creatures. The smaller creatures are not as harmless as they seem, but when they are threatened, Crickwing becomes an unlikely hero. Teaching Points: making inferences – character change/development, theme; see also synthesizing  Level P

The Dot by Peter Reynolds/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: A girl who thinks she can’t draw makes a single dot. Gradually, her confidence grows and she becomes more and more successful as an artist. Finally, she shares her wisdom with another child. Teaching Points: making inferences – predicting, character development/change, theme  Level K

Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 4/Summary: When traveling toAmerica, Annie Moore and her younger brothers are separated from their parents. Includes details about immigration throughEllis Island Teaching Points: making inferences; cross-curricular connections to social studies (immigration)  Level N

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: Set during the Great Depression, a young girl leaves her home and goes to live with her grumpy uncle in the city. She brings with her a love and knowledge of plants and flowers that transforms her city dwelling. In the process, her uncle is transformed as well. The story is told entirely through letters sent between the girl and her family. Teaching Points: making inferences – drawing conclusions, character traits/development, using background knowledge to support inferences  Level L

Kamishibai Man by Allen Say/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: After being retired for many years, an old Kamishibai Man (Japanese street performer and storyteller) returns to his city to perform once again. Teaching Points: making inferences – change in time/flashback  Level N

The Lily Cupboard: A Story of the Holocaust by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A young Jewish girl is sent to the country for safety during World War II. Teaching Points: making inferences – character traits/motivation  Level N

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney/Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: Fictionalized account of Harriet Tubman’s childhood. The basic facts about eight year old “Minty” are true, but some specific scenes were created by the author. Teaching Points: making inferences – character traits/motivation  Level P

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A girl in London in the 1800s meets a high wire walker and learns to walk the high wire herself. Teaching Points: making inferences – character traits/actions/motivation  Level P

Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A young boy who acts as like a bully due to racist views expressed in his home learns to accept and celebrate differences thanks to the intervention of a caring African-American principal and some special birds. Teaching Points: making inferences – character development, theme  Level M

Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna/ Grades(s): 3-5/ Summary: A boy sees his baseball coach apparently take an apple without paying for it and spreads the rumor that his coach is a thief. Once it becomes clear that the coach had not stolen the apple, the boy works to attempt to undo the harm done by his hasty and false judgment. Teaching Points: making inferences – character traits, theme; see also asking questions  Level N

The Royal Bee by Frances Park and Ginger Park/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A young boy wants to learn to read and write, but because of his family’s status in Korean culture he must overcome challenges to accomplish his goal. Teaching Points: making inferences – difference between predicting/inferring, meanings of unknown words, theme; see also asking questions  Level M

Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A young boy whose family is struggling financially wishes for a pet dog. Teaching Points: making inferences; see also asking questions  Level K

The Wretched Stone by Chris VanAllsburg/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A captain’s record of an extraordinary journey to sea and back. The crew begins as avid readers, musicians, and storytellers, but the wretched stone they find seems to change them. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading; see also making inferences  Level L

MORE…

A Table Where Rich People Sit, Byrd Baylor  Level O

Dandelion, Eve Bunting  Level N

Fly Away Home, Eve Bunting  Level M

Oliver Button is a Sissy, Tomie dePaola  Level J

Teammates, Peter Goldenbock  Level N

Fireflies, Julie Brinkloe  Level K

Bull Run, Paul Fleischman  Level Y

Creatures of the Earth, Sea and Sky,Georgia Heard  Level L

Fables,Arnold Lobel  Level N

The Rag Coat, Lauren Mills  Level N

Tar Beach, Faith Ringold  Level P

Where are You Going, Manyoni?, Catherine Stock  Level N

Zathura, Chris van Allsburg Level M

June 29, 1999, David Weisner  Level L

Something Beautiful, Sharon Dennis Wyeth  Level L

 

Some Questioning Mentor Texts

Choose texts that spark genuine wonder and inquiry.  Wordless books work well, too.

Consider texts with an element of ambiguity or texts/topics for which readers lack schema.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo/Grade(s): 4-5/Summary: A colorful cast of characters surrounds a girl and her new dog. Themes include friendship, self-realization, and maturity. Teaching Points: asking questions, especially generating questions while reading about setting, the characters’ pasts, character interactions  Level R

Granddaddy’s Gift by Margaree King Mitchell/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, an African-American grandfather volunteers to register to vote. Despite the dangers, he longs for his granddaughter’s life to be better and for her to have greater opportunity. Teaching Points: asking questions, especially about character motivation; see also making connections, asking questions, inferring, synthesizing  Level O

How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: A Caribbean island family is forced to leave their homeland to escape war. They sail on an overcrowded fishing boat to America. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading – good for modeling this strategy  Level S

I Can Hear The Sun by Patricia Polacco/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: An orphaned boy meets and comes to be loved by a group of lonely people at a bird sanctuary. He begins to care for the geese and has a special ability with them. Eventually, he “flies away” with them leaving those left behind filled with hope and wonder. Teaching Points: asking questions about what really happened in the story; opportunities for students to debate the powerful but unclear ending, and cite evidence from the text to support their ideas  Level P

Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A Native American story about a grandfather who retells the circumstances surrounding his grandson’s birth and early life. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading Level M

The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A young Vietnamese girl saves a lotus seed to remember a brave emperor and her homeland. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading  Level N

Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna/ Grades(s): 3-5/ Summary: A boy sees his baseball coach apparently take an apple without paying for it and spreads the rumor that his coach is a thief. Once it becomes clear that the coach had not stolen the apple, the boy works to attempt to undo the harm done by his hasty and false judgment. Teaching Points: asking questions, especially about truth, reputation, and forgiveness  Level N

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: Based on a true story, this book follows two teenage boys during the Civil War. Their friendship blossoms as they deal with injuries, fear, and death. Teaching Points: asking questions about the story line and language  Level S

The Royal Bee by Frances Park and Ginger Park/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A young boy wants to learn to read and write, but because of his family’s status in Korean culture he must overcome challenges to accomplish his goal. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading  Level M

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: Marty finds a mistreated dog. He cares for the dog in secret, but finally makes a deal with the abusive owner to work for him in exchange for the dog. Teaching Points: asking questions, especially about character behavior and motivation  Level R

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson/ Grade(s): 4-5/Summary: A young slave girl sews a quilt that shows the Underground Railroad and the route to freedom in the North. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading; see also making inferences; cross-curricular connections to social studies  Level S

Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen/ Grade(s): 4-5/Summary: A young boy whose family is struggling financially wishes for a pet dog. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading; see also making inferences  Level K

The Wretched Stone by Chris VanAllsburg/ Grade(s): 3-5/Summary: A captain’s record of an extraordinary journey to sea and back. The crew begins as avid readers, musicians, and storytellers, but the wretched stone they find seems to change them. Teaching Points: asking questions before, during, and after reading; see also making inferences  Level L

MORE…

Charlie Anderson, Barbara Abercrombie  Level K

Amelia’s Road, Linda Altman  Level M

Fly Away Home, Eve Bunting  Level M

The Wall, Eve Bunting  Level N

The Wednesday Surprise, Eve Bunting  Level K

Going Home, Eve Bunting  Level K

Honey I Love, Eloise Greenfield  Level M

The Day of Ahmed’s Secret, Florence Parry Heide and J.D. Gilliland  Level M

UFO Diary, Satoshi Kitamura  Level J

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, Kathryn Lasky  Level S

The Wise Woman and Her Secret, Eve Merriam  Level P

Baseball Saved Us, Ken Mochizuki  Level O

Pink and Say, Patricia Polacco  Level S

An Angel for Solomon Singer, Cynthia Rylant  Level P

All I See, Cynthia Rylant  Level M

The Trumpet of the Swan, E.B. White  Level R

Some Summarizing Mentor Texts

Choose dense texts packed with information and/or complex ideas.

Consider texts that require students to get the gist, put information in their own words, and sift out the most important ideas from a sea of facts and information

Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II by Marisabina Russo/ Grade(s): 5/ Summary: Based on the author’s family history, this book chronicles the events of a Jewish family before, during, and after World War II. Many recreations of primary source materials are included. Teaching Points: summarizing timeline of events in main character’s family; using primary source materials  Level S

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett/ Grade(s): 3/ Summary: The story of a town where food falls from the sky three times a day. Teaching Points: summarizing – clear sequence and story elements; see also creating sensory images  Level M

Diary of a Worm (or Spider) by Doreen Cronin/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A humorous diary of a worm’s experiences. Teaching Points: Summarizing – telling the “gist” of the worm’s experiences as revealed through the diary entries; see also synthesizing  Level K

Jumanji by Chris VanAllsburg/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A young boy and girl find a board game. As they begin playing, the events of the game come to life. Teaching Points: summarizing story events  Level M

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: The true story of a librarian’s struggle to save the books in her library from the ravages of war. Teaching Points: summarizing – difference between retelling and summarizing, elements of a summary  Level L

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein /Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: The true story of Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. Teaching Points: summarizing – the difference between retelling and summarizing, elements of a summary  Level L

My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter /Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A biography of painter Georgia O’Keefe, told from her perspective. Teaching Points: summarizing – text includes clear beginning, middle, and end  Level L

Rare Treasure by Don Brown/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A biographical account of the life of paleontologist, Mary Anning. Told as a narrative, this nonfiction book follows the life of a woman scientist who was ahead of her time. Teaching Points: summarizing – the difference between summarizing and retelling; see also synthesizing  Level N

Some Visualizing Mentor Texts

Choose texts in which the writer “paints a picture with words.”

Consider texts that include active verbs and specific nouns to show rather than merely tell the story or information.

The Basket Moon by Mary Lyn Ray/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: The story of a young boy whose father makes baskets in a rural community and travels to town to sell them. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language; see also making connections; cross-curricular connections to social studies  Level O

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: A classic story of friendship and the circle of life on Zuckerman’s farm. Teaching Points: rich, descriptive language and mature vocabulary for creating sensory images  Level P

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams/ Grade(s): 3/ Summary: A young girl, mother, and grandmother save their spare coins to buy a special chair. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language; text is also useful for teaching story elements and retelling  Level M

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett/ Grade(s): 3/ Summary: The story of a town where food falls from the sky three times a day. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language, images of food are very accessible for students; see also summarizing  Level M

Eleanor by Barbara Cooney/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: The story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s childhood. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language about family activities and history  Level S

Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: A young girl spends the day at the beach and uses her five senses to describe her experience. Scientific information is incorporated into the rhyming text./ Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language that appeals to all five senses  Level N

Lightning by Seymour Simon/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: Lightning is explored with dramatic photographs and vivid descriptions. Kids love this book! Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language; see also making connections; cross-curricular connections to science  Level P

Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth/ Grade(s): 3/ Summary: Alphabet book about a pesky black fly. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from playful and vivid descriptions  Level J

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: One winter night a father and daughter go out “owling.” Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language that appeals to several senses  Level O

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A grandfather tells his grandchildren about his life when he worked in Vaudeville. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language  Level O

A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: In the winter of 1984-1985, nearly 3,000 beluga whales were trapped in a strait in Siberia. The main character, Glashka, hears the cries of the whales. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language; cross-curricular connections to social studies/other cultures  Level O

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt/ Grade(s): 5/ Summary: The Tuck family gains eternal life after drinking from a magic spring. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language, prologue and chapter 1 include examples of figurative language, text is also useful for teaching setting (time/place/environment); see also synthesizing  Level V

Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson and James Ransome/ Grade(s): 4-5/Summary: Beautifully illustrated story about a slave girl who escapes on the Underground Railroad. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language; see also making connections; cross-curricular connections to history/social studies  Level N

Who Came Down That Road? by George Ella Lyon/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: A mother and child look at a path near their home and consider the various groups that may have used that path throughout history. Teaching Points: creating sensory images from descriptive language; cross-curricular connections to history/social studies  Level N

MORE…

Fireflies, Julie Brinkloe  Level K

The Stories Julian Tells, Ann Cameron  Level N

Wild, Wild Sunflower Child, Nancy White Carlstrom  Level M

Good Dog Carl, Alexandra Day  wordless book

Footprints and Shadows, Anne Westcott Dodd  Level M

Home Place, Crescent Dragonwagon  Level M

Dream Weaver, Jonathan London  Level N

The Salamander Room, Anne Mazer  Level L

Night in the Country, Cynthia Rylant  Level K

Turtle in July, Marilyn Singer  Level O

The Napping House, Audrey Wood  Level I

The Seashore Book, Charlotte Zolotow  Level O

Retell/ Determine Importance

When we Retell, we DETERMINE IMPORTANCE.

Here are some mentor texts for Determining Importance

Choose a text that is packed with details so that readers have to sift out the most important information.  Children’s magazine articles work well, too!

Consider texts with features such as subheadings to help students to locate information easily

Through My Eyes, Ruby Bridges  Level W

Animal Dazzlers: The Role of Brilliant Colors in nature, Sneed Collard  Level U

Mr. Lincoln’s Way, Patricia Polacco  Level M

The Graves Family, Patricia Polacco  Level P

Chicken Sunday, Patricia Polacco  Level N

Mrs. Katz and Tush, Patricia Polacco  Level P

Teammates. Peter Goldenbock  Level N

 

Some Synthesizing Mentor Texts

Choose dense texts packed with information and/or complex ideas.

Consider texts that require students to get the gist, put information in their own words, and sift out the most important ideas from a sea of facts and information

The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni/ Grade(s): 3-4/ Summary: The creation of the alphabet from letters to words to sentences told through nature. Teaching Points: synthesizing – tracking changes in thinking  Level K

An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant/ Grade(s): 5/ Summary: A man who lives in New York longs for the things he can’t have and for places from his past. One night he enters a café “where all your dreams come true.” He eventually begins to appreciate and enjoy the things in his life. Teaching Points: synthesizing – changes in thinking  Level P

Crickwing by Janell Cannon/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: Tired of being bullied, a cockroach with a twisted wing begins picking on smaller creatures. The smaller creatures are not as harmless as they seem, but when they are threatened, Crickwing becomes an unlikely hero. Teaching Points: synthesizing – noticing character change/development; see also making inferences  Level P

Diary of a Worm (or Fly or Spider) by Doreen Cronin/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A humorous diary of a worm’s experiences. Teaching Points: Synthesizing – using background knowledge to understand humor; see also summarizing  Level K

Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: The story of a family who is forced to flee their war-torn country. The family’s beloved goldfish are left behind, but when the family is reunited and returns home they find that the goldfish, like the family, have survived. Teaching Points: synthesizing – finding symbolism  Level S

Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: Set in segregated Nashville in the 1950s, young Tricia Ann is frustrated by the Jim Crows that exclude her from many public places but she finds welcome at the public library. Teaching Points: synthesizing – changes in thinking about importance of libraries/reading, effects of segregation  Level M

Granddaddy’s Gift by Margaree King Mitchell/ Grade(s): 3-5/ Summary: Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, an African-American grandfather volunteers to register to vote. Despite the dangers, he longs for his granddaughter’s life to be better and for her to have greater opportunity. Teaching Points: synthesizing – tracking changes in the reader’s understanding of the “gift” as the story unfolds; see also making connections, asking questions, inferring  Level O

The Man Who Kept His Heart in a Bucket by Sonia Levitin/ Grade(s): 5/Summary: A young man who keeps his heart in a bucket to protect it from being broken loses his heart in a stream to a beautiful maiden and must figure out how to get it back. He learns that when his heart is in a bucket, it is useless to him. Teaching Points: synthesizing – tracking changes in thinking  Level S

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A story of friendship across a racial divide. Teaching Points: synthesizing – finding symbolism as the fence grows in significance, especially in the last line of the text  Level M

Rare Treasure by Don Brown/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: A biographical account of the life of paleontologist, Mary Anning. Told as a narrative, this nonfiction book follows the life of a woman scientist who was ahead of her time. Teaching Points: synthesizing – the last page of the book demonstrates that synthesis goes beyond the content of the piece when the reader adds his/her own thoughts or opinions; see also summarizing  Level N

Rules by Cynthia Lord/ Grade(s): 5/ Summary: Catherine’s brother David is autistic and their family life revolves around his needs. She is often frustrated and embarrassed by her brother and creates “rules” for him to live by. Teaching Points: good interactive read aloud to model using multiple comprehension strategies and synthesizing thinking, especially about author’s message/theme/point of view  Level R

Smoky Nights by Eve Bunting/ Grade(s): 4-5/ Summary: The story of a family’s experiences during the Los Angeles riots. Teaching Points: synthesizing – tracking changes in thinking Level P

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt/ Grade(s): 5/ Summary: The Tuck family gains eternal life after drinking from a magic spring. Teaching Points: synthesizing – changes in thinking about living forever; see also creating sensory images  Level V

MORE…

Charlie Anderson, Barbara Abercrombie  Level K

The Table Where Rich People Sit, Byrd Baylor  Level O

The Story of Ruby Bridges, Robert Coles  Level O

Oliver Button is a Sissy, Tomie dePaola  Level J

The Alphabet Tree, Leo Lionni  Level K

Frederick’s Fables, Leo Lionni  Level L

Fables,Arnold Lobel  Level N

The Rag Coat, Lauren Mills  Level N

Tar Beach, Faith Ringgold  Level P

Tea With Milk, Allen Say  Level O

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein  Level J

The Story of Jumping Mouse, John Steptoe  Level P

Zathura, Chris Van Allsburg  Level M

The Wretched Stone, Chris Van Allsburg  Level L

Jumanji, Chris Van Allsburg  Level M

Two Bad Ants, Chris Van Allsburg  Level P

The Devil’s Arithmetic, Jane Yolen  Level X

 

 

 

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