Sunday, July 21, 2013

Must Read Mentor Texts

Today, I am linking up with Stacia and Amanda from Collaboration Cuties for Must Read Mentor Texts.   This week's topic is science.
One of my favorite (and many of my students' favorite) topics in science is animal relationships, life cycles, defenses and adaptations. Ask Dr. K. Fisher about Animals is one of my favorite books that covers all of these topics.
Ask Dr. K. Fisher about Animals
In this book, animals write to Dr. K. Fisher asking for some advice (Dear Abby style).  For example, there is a tadpole who is freaking out about the way his body is changing.  Dr. K. Fisher responds that this is part of the normal process of becoming a frog.
Because my students loved this book so much, I purchased another one about Creepy Crawlers.
Ask Dr. K. Fisher About Creepy-Crawlies
One of the issues in this book is a millipede who doesn't understand why he is constantly loosing to a centipede when they race.  He does, after all, have more legs (prefix review :).  Dr. K. Fisher responds by explaining that carnivores need to run faster than herbivores because they need to chase their prey.  He continues to give advice by saying, "Try not to annoy him, though, as he has sharp jaws and poisonous fangs.  If he gets nasty, curl up until he goes away." (p, 13)
This book works great when you are covering animals relationships, adaptations, defenses, and life cycles. You can also carry this concept into any science topic.  In fact, there are other books with Dr. K. Fisher on weather, the earth, reptiles, and dinosaurs.  I use this as an example of RAFT writing and have students come up with their own ideas for advice on our current topic.  Topics that have worked in the past are ecology, symbiosis, and cycles (water, nitrogen, carbon-oxygen).  I am not teaching science next year, but I still plan on using these books for examples of RAFT writing.  I'm thinking about incorporating them into social studies when we speak of prehistoric people.  Maybe I'll get the dinosaur book to go with that.
I'm looking forward to reading about all the other great books that people are sharing.


  1. Ooooo, this looks great! I haven't heard of this book but definitely fits right in with adaptations! I will have to put this on my ever growing list!

    Thanks for linking up!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  2. That book looks fantastic. I love it because I could use it for letter writing and point of view too! Thanks for sharing this book!

  3. EXCELLENT!! I have never heard of these books, but I love them already. Great choice, Mary, great choice!
    The Teacher Next Door

  4. These are new to me! I love when I get introduced to a new book! And, I love how easily it can be incorporated into language arts! Thanks!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. I haven't heard of these either. I just went and orders the animals one and also one about weather. Thanks so much for sharing!

    room 4 imagination

  6. I have never heard of these books either. But, they sound really great. It's wonderful when you can teach multiple disciplines with one text.
    Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

    School Is a Happy Place

  7. Just pinned both of these books to my science mentor text board!
    Love the "Dear Abby" format!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

  8. Thank you! They are two of my favorites. I'll probably get another before school starts. Now, I just have to decide which one...