The Blobfish Book

March 27, 2018

Jessica Olien (@jessicaolien) created a hybrid text in The Blobfish Book. Students are introduced to the creatures of each ocean zone. Facts are shared with real photos of the animal creatures. Blobfish adds his first-person commentary on each page with speech bubbles. The humorous style will hook your kids into learning more about the ocean.

When the text shares that the Blobfish was named the ugliest animal in the universe, Blobfish has a melt down. The other creatures, his friends, rally around him to uplift his spirits.

This book trailer includes an explanation of the different ocean zones.

This kid science video explains why the Blobfish is called the ugliest animal. Also, check out the book Pink is for Blobfish.

Savorings for The Blobfish Book:

  • Hybrid text
  • Persuasive
  • Speech bubbles
  • Personification
  • Encouraging others
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Never Smile at a Monkey

March 22, 2018

Steve Jenkins warns his readers about the dangers of some animals in a kid-friendly fashion in Never Smile at a Monkey. Each page shares one of eighteen different creatures’ harmful characteristics. Written in a repeating structure, NEVER begins the informative paragraph using alliteration in the subsection titles. At the end of the book, more information is shared regarding each creature.

Introduce the book with this book trailer.

Jessica Ivy shares how to use the book with close reading techniques (level O). She shares her reproducible resources on Teachers Pay Teachers for free.

Savorings for Never Smile at a Monkey:

  • Alliteration
  • Descriptive
  • Commands – Look out!
  • Intertwines physic qualities with emotional characteristics – “Sharp hooves, long horns, and an extremely nasty temper”
  • Dependent Clauses
  • Power of 3

Coral Reefs

March 13, 2018

Jason Chin is interweaves the reader into his narrative nonfiction, Coral Reefs. As the characters move into the setting of the coral reefs, so do you.

  • Building Background KnowledgeScience: Food chains, vocabulary
    • Builds curiosity to research and learn more
  • Settingthe young girl is whisked away from the library into a magical place
    • Even the ending leads you into another story
  • Illustrations captures the mind of the reader
    • Teaches visualization
    • Connecting to the science text of facts through a narrative-like feel
  • Close Readingweb
    • Read and reread to understand how nature works together, predator and prey, environment and adaptations, partnerships
  • Author’s Notewhere he gathered his ideas
    • Importance of research
    • Persuading the reader to take action to help coral reefs

Big Bug/ Super Bugs/ Some Bugs

March 10, 2018

27431983Children often have a favorite topic to write about. They return to the topic and use the same genre in sharing their information. For example, if a child loves his dog, he often will write a story, a narrative. This writing practice is a great start.

One way to broaden children’s understanding of genres is to present books on the same topic with different formats. You can compare and contrast different books on the same topic. Dinosaurs. Trucks. Bears. Show them how this information can be shared out through a narrative, informational text, poetic nonfiction, poetry, all about, etc.

Three books I found recently lend themselves to this kind of study.

Savorings for Big Bug:

  • Opposites – big versus little
  • Perspetive
  • Comparison of size
  • Circular/ Bookends – begins with a bug that looks small on a big leaf  but is a small leaf to a big tree, and continues (begins with the topic of bugs but is only one part of the book versus the other books are all about bugs)

Savorings for Super Bugs:

  • Rhyming
  • Setting – each two page spread illustrates a scene (you could write about each scene)
  • Teamwork
  • Repeating Lines
  • Heroes
  • Author’s Note – writes about what fascinates her

Savorings for Some Bugs:

  • Illustrations are a fascinating collage
  • Repeating structure
  • Vivid Verbs
  • Personifies the bugs – communicating, playing
  • Last 2 pages is a culmination of all the illustrated pages
  • Invites the reader to action – explore their ordinary backyard

Savorings for National Geographic Everything Insects:

  • Nonfiction text features
  • Photographs in natural setting
  • Scientific explanations
  • Link to further research

All My Friends Are Planets: The Story of Pluto

February 13, 2018

by Alisha Vimawala

Growing up, I learned about the nine planets in our solar system. Pluto was the farthest. In 2006, new discoveries changed this notion.

As you read All My Friends Are Planets, you are engaged in a conversations with Pluto. It explains how it changed from being a planet in the solar system to the classification of a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt. It feels alone, describing the other planets in the solar system. It is

I’m not a scientist at heart, but I love the wonderment of space. This lighthearted conversation explains the differences of Pluto for children to understand. It’s a great springboard into further research. The author nudges her readers to investigate more on the subject and lists possible sites to begin in the back of the book. Alisha Vimawala also has a drawing contest of a future planet. Genius!

Savorings for All My Friends are Planets:

  • First Person Narrative – talks to the reader
  • Informational Narrative
  • Scientific Characteristics – same/ different
  • Personification
  • Voice
  • Power of 3

Scholastic book order


Flying Frogs and Walking Fish

February 10, 2018

Image result for flying frogs and walking fishSteven Jenkins and Robin Page collaborate to peak your interest. They share the most interesting facts about ordinary and unique creatures. In Flying Frogs and Walking Fish, the focus is on the animation of the animals.

The sections are divided by questions about the animal featured. For example, A Walking Octopus? sheds light beyond the understood eight legs. “They use two of them to walk on the sea floor.”

Other animals are then featured on a two-page spread highlighting their unique ways to walk (Marching, strolling, tiptoeing...). Additional facts are shared in the back of the book.

To learn more about the making of this book, go to stevejenkinsbooks.com/flyingfrogs. Have fun learning new synonyms and interesting facts!

Savorings for Flying Frogs and Walking Fish:

  • Compare/ Contrast
  • Questions as SubTitles
  • Alliteration
  • Synonyms – whirling, tumbling, somersaulting
  • Fun Facts
  • Verbs

Born in the Wild

June 27, 2017

Image result for born in the wild by lita judgeBaby animals are adorable. Cuddly. Cute. Mama animals love and protect their young, nuzzling them to move, licking them with kisses. Kids will “awww” when they see the mama/child couple throughout the book, Born in the Wild.

Using a repetitive structured text, Lita Judge breaks the book into sections. Instead of a traditional subtitle, a sentence topic announces the proceeding two-page spread with its corresponding three animals.

The baby is part of a family.

The baby needs to be caressed and groomed.

The baby grows strong through play.

See the video book review by TTPM

Savorings for reading and in writing for Born in the Wild:

  • Additional Facts – in the back, each animal is expounded upon (a great way to show students how to include any extra facts into their piece)
  • Repeating Structure – one-line sentence followed by three animal explanations
  • Font Manipulation – highlighted names are colored text
  • Glossary – additional websites
  • Connection – to field trips, science research