Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mentor Text: In a Nutshell

     In a Nutshell, written by Joseph Anthony and beautifully illustrated by Chris Arbo, is a narrative story where nonfiction meets fiction. Books that are written in this style are referred to as hybrid nonfiction, and this means that the text is narrative but facts compose the bulk of the book.

     I used this book in a few ways with a group of third graders. I read the text and students noted words that they felt unsure of the meaning. Then, students "turned and talked" to briefly brainstorm the meaning using the context clues of what they did understand on the page. Next, students shared out our ideas and supported the believed meaning with other words and phrases used in the context of the page and their prior background knowledge. In the end, the students felt empowered that they figured every bit of the text out, thanks to their own development of their confidence through risk taking and practice.  

      Students asked if we could draw a diagram of the life cycle of the tree in order to summarize the text's events. (We had been discussing nonfiction text features, as well as how to summarize only the most important facts presented in the book.) I love when students eagerly suggest an extension to keep the learning going for themselves! :)


1 comment :

  1. Wow! What a wonderful resource you are! I've shared this blog with my students and will continue to point them to your great posts:-)