Sunday, August 18, 2013

Must Read Mentor Texts

Hello Everyone!  Today I am linking up with Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for Must Read Mentor Texts.
This week's topic is science.  The book I would like to share is called Weird Friends.
This is a great book for illustrating the concept of symbiosis.  It shows unlikely pairs of animals helping each other.

Here is an example of how a Portuguese man-of-war protects mackerels by stinging their predators.  The man-of-war is fed because the mackerels attract food.  The mackerels' predators become the man-of-war's prey.  However, the mackerels are not harmed by the stings, so they have a safe hiding place from their predators.
In another example, the author shows how red ants feed off of the sweet honeydew produced when they tickle the tummy of a particular type of caterpillar.  In return, the ants feed the caterpillar all it can eat. Once the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, it is free to go, and the ants search for a new caterpillar.
One final example, just because I really love this book.  On these pages, students will learn that beetles attach themselves to  forest mice during the night.  The mice don't mind because the beetles eat all the fleas they find in the fur.  While the mice sleep during the day, the beetles dismount and devour the insects in the burrow.  The beetles stay well-fed, and the mice stay insect-free.
I loved using this book when I taught fifth grade science.  Animal relationships were part of our curriculum.  Now that I teach fourth grade language arts, I just couldn't give it up.  I use it mostly for cause and effect, but you could easily use it for compare/contrast and main idea as well.
I'm off to check out all the other great science mentor texts.  

Students start tomorrow, and I am super excited!

Good luck to everyone as we begin the school year.

Thank you!


  1. Our kiddos would LOVE this. Your blog colors are so pretty!
    Tamra and Sarah

  2. What an interesting book! I've never heard of it so thank you!!

    I hope you had a great first day!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings