Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pinduli {Language Arts Must Read Mentor Text Linky!}

Today I am linking up with the Collaboration Cuties and their awesome Must Read Mentor Text Linky. I love reading the posts in this linky because nothing is better than finding a great book and already having a lesson plan idea to go with it. I've found so many great suggestions from this link up and normally head over to Amazon to purchase the books right away.

I am also double dipping and linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings and her Peek at My Week linky!

So tomorrow, Monday, will be our first FULL day in school since December 20th. We had school on Thursday, but only for three hours since a storm was coming. Friday was a snow day and that brought us to a great three day weekend! I'm not looking forward to waking up at 5AM tomorrow and I'm sure it will be a long week. The good news is that I am all planned and ready to go for the week. I am looking forward to teaching so I can take pictures and blog about my new ideas and projects we are starting. 

We are in the middle of our Animal Unit and about to jump into a Janell Cannon book study. Are you a fan of her animal books? I sure am! I love that she incorporates so much nonfiction into her fictional stories. That is EXACTLY what I am going to be talking to my students about (and doing maybe next week). We are going to be writing our own narratives, after researching animals, and incorporating nonfiction facts into the stories. 

I am starting off with Pinduli. Who would have ever thought to write a book about a hyena? Cannon's other books are also about animals who wouldn't be thought of as cute and popular, but after reading her stories, the characters have a special place in your heart.  

Amazon's summary of this book is perfect: Pinduli's mama has always told her that she's the most beautiful hyena ever. But Dog, Lion, and Zebra don't think so. Why else would they make her feel so rotten about her big ears, her fuzzy mane, and her wiggly stripes? Poor Pinduli just wants to disappear--and she tries everything she can think of to make that happen. Yet nothing goes her way. Nothing, that is, until a case of mistaken identity lets her show the creatures of the African savanna how a few tiny words--bad or good--can create something enormous.

We are going to be reading Pinduli together and charting the nonfiction information we learn about hyenas in the story. We are going to notice how Janell Cannon portrays hyenas through her writing and if that is normal or odd? We will point out the character traits we learned about hyenas and look for figurative language throughout the book.

As the week progresses, we are going to be reading a nonfiction article I wrote about sloths. (They are one of my favorite odd animals and I love teaching about them because my students are always shocked at the information they learn.) Does anyone else love sloths, like me? lol We will close read the text for multiple purposes, look for character traits that can describe a sloth, and create examples of figurative language to show the character traits. We will then be writing poems using figurative language and incorporating the nonfiction information into the poem.

I know this sounds like a lot and probably confusing, but I promise it will make sense.

Once I model this activity with the sloth, the students will be split into groups. Together they will read different nonfiction articles (written by me), pull out information and character traits and create examples of figurative language. Each group is responsible for constructing a poem to present to the class.  It will sort of be like a jigsaw because once the groups present their poem, each student will have a better understanding of that animal. This will also help us understand figurative language as a reader and author.
It is going to be a busy week, but I am excited to come back and tell you how it went. I actually put my lessons into packets for TPT, so just in case you'd like to try this head over to our TPT store. 


  1. What a fun and engaging unit you have planned! So many activities and lessons integrated-I love it! I'm not familiar with this book, but it sounds awesome, to Amazon! Thanks for sharing! Have fun this week!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. This sounds like a fun activity! I do think sloths are interesting but I'm not sure I love them. ;0)
    I love Janell Cannon! Another of hers that I love is Verdi! I can't wait to see how all of this turns out this week! And I'm a little jealous you are planned and ready to go. I'm headed to do my planning now. Oy.

    Thanks for linking up!

  3. I love that you're using this text to note details about hyenas. You could easily integrate nonfiction texts on hyenas here, too. So cool! I've never heard of the book but will be checking it out.
    Thanks! :)

    The 4th Grade Journey

  4. Your love of sloths is quite apparent! Can't say I know much about them, to tell you the truth.

    We had a snow day before break and now have a snow day for cold weather tomorrow. You are right though -- getting up at 5AM will be tough!

    Wishing you a great first week back! Thanks for linking up with me.



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