A Mentor Text to Warm Up Your Winter

Jan 1, 2017

Happy New Year!  2017 is here and what better way to kick it off then to try out some new mentor texts in your classroom!  Today you can click through and find some lessons to help you "warm up" those long winter days.  I am excited to share a new favorite book, Bunny Slopes, by Claudia Rudea.

 This text is perfect for the PreK-1st grade age range (although, my second grade daughter really enjoyed reading it, as well).  The main character is a bunny and he is eager to go skiing; however, in order to do so, he asks the reader for some help.  In order for the bunny to go skiing, the reader must shake, tilt, and turn the book.  In the end, the reader is going on an adventure right along with the bunny!  It is simple, sweet, and (the best part) interactive.

Students make an interactive verb book

For this text to work, students must actually interact with the book and the characters.  What better way to introduce verbs!  A verb is an action and to make this type of book work, students must preform an action.  The lesson outlined below will work for a variety of classrooms, depending on their level of need.  Some students may be ready to discuss the different shades of meaning with verbs, while other classrooms may just be learning what a verb is.

Honestly, I would jump right into this book without an introduction.  It is such a fun book and I want the students to just enjoy it the first time that it is read without looking for verbs or predicting what is going to happen.  Just let them enjoy it the first time around.  But after that initial read, then the teaching can begin with one question, "What did the bunny ask us to do?"  By asking this one question, we can begin to help the students define the what a verb is.  It may be helpful to write the definition and the words "shake, tilt, and turn" on chart paper.

Then it is time for the next read.  But this time students need to listen for verbs, or action words.  When the verbs are found during the second or third read, they can be added to the chart paper.  But the students can also continue to interact with the book.  This brings the verbs to life and helps them to understand that they are action words.

Only a few verbs are used within Bunny Slopes; however, after reading the book the students can be invited to come up with some of their own action words to add to the list.  Students can even act out these words.  I always like to provide some non-examples, as well, to help them really distinguish between what is and is not a verb.

To help students have a better understanding of how to use verbs, they can create their own book.  And the best part...the readers will interact with the book using the verbs that your students choose!  This book can be used in several different ways (depending on student need): shared writing, class book, or individual books.  Here's how it works as an individual book...
Each students receives a four page book, a title page, and a bunny.  They must complete each page by writing the word "bunny" and one verb to explain what the bunny is doing.

a mentor text lesson

Then the character must be cut out and the title page constructed.  To make the title page, students need to cut out the image, fold, and glue the sides down.  This creates a "pocket" for the bunny to fit into.

a mentor text lesson

Once the book is complete, the reader can use the bunny to "act out" the verbs in the text.  It becomes an interact book!

A mentor text lesson

When choosing the scenes for this book, I had "shades of meaning" in mind.  Students are going to come with varying vocabularies and this lends itself really well to creating lists of verbs that could be used on each page.  Take the image above.  The bunny ______ in the snow.  The student above decided on sniffed.  But there are so many verbs that would work: romped, stomped, played, hopped, hid, etc.  Each student book could turn out very different, which allows for more vocabulary development to occur, especially since the books must be "acted" out with the bunny.

If you would like to use this lesson in your classroom, please click on the image below!  Or you can pin for later!   Thanks for reading today! -Em

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3eyEJCd5J5kdmQzaFpRRGp0TjAInteractive verb book included

Don't forget to hop through and read about all the great mentor text lessons that can warm up your winter!  You can also enter the Rafflecopter and win ALL (yes...ALL)  of the mentor texts in this hop! My mystery word is SLOPES!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

    This Literacy Life

    1. Thanks for reading. It is really fun. I love interactive books.

  2. That book is adorable, and so is your freebie! This is perfect timing, as I will be teaching verbs next week. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

    1. Thank you so much! I hope that you are able to use it with your students!

  3. My kids love books that you shake and move around. Fun!

    1. They really, really do! Our first graders love to interact with the books. It is fun to watch them.


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