Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mentor Text Link Up - Language Arts

So glad to hear that the mentor text link up with Collaboration Cuties will still be going on over the summer.  This week's topic is language arts...

Sincerely Yours: Writing Your Own Letter, by Nancy Loewen, is perfect forexploring the friendly letter format to your students (business letter included as well). I use this text after many other wonderful picture books written using friendly letters. This text is on of several in the Writer's Toolbox series published by Picture Window Books.  

The text begins with a friendly letter from the author stressing how important letter writing has been over hundreds of years, even in this day and age when people communicate in many ways.  Then the author goes on to present "tools" for writing a friendly letter, over-viewing each "tool" (part) and its purpose.  When each tool is presented, a model letter is presented with the tool boldfaced to draw attention.  As subsequent tools are presented, previous tools remain but are printed in grayscale. Below are select pages from the text. 

  Proofreading is stressed as well.

I used the text to further explore an author's purpose in writing letters before  we wrote letters to our secret pal.  I especially like how the text discusses the purpose of a friendly letter and even classifies thank you notes as friendly letters.  This is especially applicable for second graders, as writing thank you notes/cards is something my students do more frequently.

The ultimate is seeing a student use what they have learned for a real purpose.  A thank you card I received the day after students got out of school.  Nice form!


The second text I'd like to share is Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root.  What an awesome text to use when teaching students how authors use onomatopoeia, alliteration, and rhythm, rhyme, and repetition in their writing to create interest and excitement. The kids love to chime in as the story builds.  They are also taken with all of the detail in the illustrations that tell the story as well as the text.  

The gist:  It's hot and the kids want to go to the lake.  Poppa's not sure they can make it there in the rattletrap car.  Poppa starts the rattletrap car, "brum, brum...clickety, clankety.."  Then, "Boomssss. The tire went flat." 

"Whumpety whomp! The floor fell out!" and so on... The kids naturally anticipate if they will make it to the lake.  And if they do, will they make it home?  A great text to add to your collection!

Check out more language arts mentor texts over at Collaboration Cuties

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  1. Love all of these books! Thank you so much for sharing them :) Such amazing suggestions! Glad I found you through the linky!


    1. Super! It's great to have you as a follower! :0)

      Sarah & Courtney

  2. I love using "Sincerely Yours" in my classroom each year it is a great book. I have added "Rattletrap Car" to my list of books to purchase. Thank you for sharing.

    Foreman Teaches

  3. I've never read Rattletrap Car-it looks great. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  4. The Sincerely Yours book looks great. We haven't heard of that one. I like how they call each part a "tool!" Have a great week!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this. I didn't have a mentor text on my list for letter writing and I have the perfect unit to add it to! Thanks...I'm pinning. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

    1. So glad you can add it to your list and it will work so well... :0)


  6. This book looks so great! Obviously it went to good use in your room seeing your student wrote you such a nice letter!
    Learning to the Core

  7. This is great to add to my list of must-read texts! Thanks for sharing:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  8. I love the idea of a how to book for teaching writing! Thanks for the suggestion!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  9. Oh, yaaaaaay!! I needed a book for friendly letters and I am so psyched that you linked this up! Also, I have never heard of Rattletrap Car but it looks like such a fun book for onomatopoeia!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  10. Rattletrap Car looks wonderful! I can't wait to read that one with my kiddos next year. I'm also really excited about the book for friendly letters - I can always use some help with that!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  11. This would be great to introduce letter writing for my Reader's Notebooks! Thanks for sharing this book!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  12. Thank you for the text suggestions. The Sincerely Yours book is exactly what I needed!

    I just blogged today about friendly letters as thank you notes and some templates that I made! I will plan to link back to your blog if that is ok with you.

    Here is the link to that post if you are interested.
    Sunday Smorgasbord: Includes Friendly Letter Template Freebie

    i Heart Second

    The Think Aloud Cloud