Even though I teach sixth grade, I love sharing picture books with my students. Sixth graders love being read too and, this really should come as no surprise, they love picture books! I’m always on the look out for picture books to use as mentor texts for reading and/or writing. The following are two of my finds so far this summer…
Now It Is Summer by Eileen Spinelli
Now It Is Summer is a wonderful picture book about a little mouse that can’t wait for the pleasure of autumn to arrive while his mother patiently reminds him of the joys of summer. He should take advantage of them while he can for too soon they’ll be gone.
This book is a perfect mentor text to use for teaching poetry, compare/contrast, alliteration, repetition, onomatopoeia, and especially sensory descriptions. The author does a fabulous job of helping the readers experience the pleasures of both autumn and summer throughout the book. Two of my favorite descriptions include:
“Will I leap laughing into leaves
heaped high in the backyard?
“….but now it is summer.
Now you can tippy-toe
into the gurgling surf. “ (Summer)
Students will be able to see, hear, taste, smell and feel each season. I envision having students practice writing their own sensory poems after sharing this book.
Someday by Eileen Spinelli
An imaginative little girl dreams about what her “someday” will be like as compared to what her “today” or “right now" are like. She dreams and wishes of swimming with dolphins, lunching with the president, digging for dinosaur bones, and counting penguins, while she’s actually feeding her goldfish, eating with her cousin, looking for coins in the couch, and counting jellybeans. While the illustrations are colorful and fun, author Eileen Spinelli’s story has such wonderful details and words that readers/listeners will be easily able to close their eyes and imagine the adventures of the little girl.
After sharing this story with my students I will challenge them to write their won “Someday… Today…” poem. I will encourage them to think about things they do everyday, then use their imagination to turn those tasks into things they wish they could someday do.