Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mentor Text: Crab Moon By: Ruth Horowitz

                                                                       Crab Moon is a beautiful mentor text written by Ruth Horowitz and illustrated by Kate Kiesler. In this story, a young boy named Daniel travels to a cottage by the shore to vacation with his family. His mother shares with him memories of her special times of observing horseshoe crabs spawning during the "crab moon." I used this text with the third grade classes, and the classroom teachers help to chart responses made during the interactive read aloud. I started the lesson by "zooming in on a moment" and noticing how the story's main idea is a snapshot memory for the main character. We also noticed how the author used other words besides "said," fabulous vocabulary, and "golden threads" of text. The main focus of our lesson was on how Horowitz "shows" and doesn't explicitly tell the reader. This fosters conversations of inferential thinking by using what is shared to figure out what was not stated. This text was also recognized as an "Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children" and is a great example of a narrative hybrid nonfiction text, where factual scientific information about the life cycle of the horseshoe crab is learned within the context of a realistic fictionalized story. I purchased this text for our professional read aloud picture book collection housed in the Media Center. Complimentary mentor texts include Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan and The Seashore Book written by Charlotte Zolotow.  Be sure to check it out! :)  

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