Perfect Picture Book Lessons


Have you ever found the perfect book for a lesson . . . and then forgot about it the next year? Me too! I decided to start writing down which mentor text I use with certain lessons  in an easy-to-read format for quick access year after year.

In Debbie Miller’s Book,  Reading With Meaning, she outlines how to teach powerful comprehension strategies and the mentor text to go with them. Many of those lesson ideas are included in the following mentor text notes so I didn’t have to reread her whole book every time I wanted to use one of her ideas. There are also lesson ideas from Lucy Caulkins, Reggie Routeman, and Lori Oczkus, (as well as my own original ideas) all in one easy to access place!

Click on the title.

Mentor Text: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

Strategies:

Visualizing language:

Show don’t tell

Good Ending
Schema/Connections

Life Skills/ Life-Long Guidelines

Mentor Text: Crickwing by Janelle Cannon

Strategies:

Good beginning
Visualizing language: 

Show don’t tell

. . .
Inferring word meanings
Synonyms for said
Inferring questions
Connections

Mentor Text: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Strategies:

Good beginning
Pattern of 3
Synonyms
Epilogue
Making Connections
Inferring

Mentor Text: Fireflies by Julie Brinkloe

Strategies:

Visualizing Language: 

5 senses

simile

Inferring
Connections/Schema
Expression/Exclamation Mark: 

How to read them in text

Strong Ending
Life Skills/ Life-Long Guidelines

Mentor Text: Ira Says Goodbye by Bernard Waber

Strategies:

Connections
Inferring
Writer’s Workshop 

mini-lesson

Mentor Text: Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger

Strategies:

Asking Questions: 

Before, During, and After reading

Why do you think readers ask questions before, during, and after reading?

1.   What do we know about asking questions?

2.   How does asking questions help you become a better reader?

3.   How do reader’s figure out the answer to their questions?

Synthesizing
Showing not Telling: 

metaphor

Mentor Text: When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Strategies:

Visualizing Language: 

Show don’t tell

Using the 5 senses

Inferring
Connections

Mentor Text: Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland, Poem from Lotus Seed

Strategies:

Asking Questions: 

How do readers figure out the answers to their questions?

Using the Text, Inferring, or an Outside Source?

Connections
Visualizing

Mentor Text: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Strategies:

Good beginning
Visualizing Language: 

Similes & metaphors

Good ending

Mentor Text: Stellaluna by Janelle Cannon

Strategies:

Inferring word meaning
Similes
Synonyms for said: 

Make ABC list or book and add words to use in our own writing

Onomonopia
Italics
Connections
Inferring
Asking Questions 

and/or wondering

Mentor Text: The Stranger by Chris VanAllsburg

Strategies:

Asking Questions: 

How do readers figure out the answers to their questions?

Using the Text, Inferring, or an Outside Source?

Synthesizing & Summarizing
Inferring
Connections

Don’t forget to share your suggestions too!

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12 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Lessons

  1. Emily-
    These are excellent! The PDF charts are amazing. I think the post would be better if you included what strategy is the focus of each mentor text. So, the post would include both the title and the strategy listed beside the image of the cover. I think it would make it easier for people to search your list by strategy, instead of having to click on each title to see which strategy is the focus. Am I making sense? I love how you used the images of the books too, instead of just the title. Very good. I am excited for you. It is going to be fun to see how this grows….

  2. I too love that resource! I have purchases and used all the books in lessons. Thank you for creating these so I can file and remember what book I used for what!

  3. Great list of books. Since I implemented the Reading CAFE this past a school year I’m in a quest to find as many picture books as possible to use as mentor texts for my mini lessons. Your list will definitely help! Tanks for sharing!

    • Thanks! A lot of these ideas came from the gurus like Debbie Miller. Definitely check out this blog for more lessons. I highlight different professional reads and picture books that have ideas like this!

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