Mentor Text Reading Activities & Writing Prompts: Nonfiction Better Than Basal

ideas by jivey
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
73 pages
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ideas by jivey
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  1. What is in this GIANT bundle?All 40 Mentor Sentence LessonsAll 40 Interactive ActivitiesMODIFICATIONS for Revision and Imitation DaysAll 40 Weeks of Vivid Vocabularyand Better Than Basal: 100+ Reading Activities & 40 Writing Prompts...ALL FOR 40 MENTOR TEXTS! PLUS: added June 2022, a BONUS mini-
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Why is this better than a basal? Because YOU get to choose the order and even the skills you want to cover with each book! A GOOD mentor text will provide opportunities to teach or review a variety of skills, not the ONE the teacher manual says you have to teach.

This nonfiction Better Than Basal is set up just like the large units with Common Core aligned activities, lesson ideas, graphic organizers, and writing prompts for some of your favorite informational mentor texts to use in grades 3-5! (See the complete list below.)

★ Activities are also provided as links to Google Slides for Digital Learning! ★


All of these books also have accompanying mentor sentences in Volume 2, Unit 4 Nonfiction Mentor Sentences!



There are ten organizers that can be used with ANY text, and then those ten organizers have been used with some of my favorite informational texts as well to give you ideas of how to use them. (Answer keys are provided.)

**Please LOOK AT THE PREVIEW to see all that is included!**

Activities cover skills such as:

Using evidence to describe, infer, and draw conclusions


Main idea & details

Describing events in order

Using context clues to define words

Describing text structure and identifying key words

Comparing primary and secondary sources

Identifying text features and what can be learned from them

Combining information from two texts

There is also a writing prompt for each book that ties to the topic of the book.

Activities are for the following books:

-Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? Questions and Answers About Weather By Melvin and Gilda Berger

-Water Dance By Thomas Locker

-You Wouldn’t Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus! By Fiona Macdonald

-Postcards from Pluto By Loreen Leedy

-Animals Nobody Loves By Seymour Simon

-OWLS By Gail Gibbons

-If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad By Ellen Levine

-Snowflake Bentley By Jacqueline Briggs Martin

-My Brother Martin By Christine King Farris

-A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry

If you don't own all these books, I encourage you to take advantage of your library! They are all wonderful texts to share with your students!



Want more information on how to use mentor texts in the classroom? You can check out my blog posts:

Mentor Texts: Maximize Your Time!

Picture Books Are For EVERYONE!!

You might also be interested in:

Launching Reading Workshop in Grades 3-5


Please remember, this purchase is for the use of one teacher. It is not intended to be shared. Please use the 'additional license' purchase if more than one teacher will be using it. Thank you!

Copyright © 2014 Ideas By Jivey, LLC

All rights reserved by author, Jessica Ivey.

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.

Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only.

Not for public display.

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Total Pages
73 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Year
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.


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