Friday, June 3, 2016

Flip Flops, Beach Chairs, and Teaching With Mentor Texts

Happy Summer!!!  I don't know about you, but this was a very long school year and I am super excited to relax and recharge this summer.  And by recharge, I mean exploring new books and new ideas to bring into the classroom for the upcoming year.

One book I would like to share with you that I think is super fun for teaching students about perspective is called A Weed is a Seed by Ferida Wolff.  I came across this gem at Half Price Books and immediately knew it would be a keeper for my classroom.  After reading it once, my teacher brain kicked into high gear.  So many different lesson ideas were forming.  Theme.....creative writing.....cause & effect.....perspective......growth mindset.  I could go on and on.  As teachers, we know that we can do just about anything with a picture book.

A Weed is a Seed teaches children about what the word optimism means (which is such a powerful word to teach to any age).  This picture books is all about finding the silver linings that nature has to offer.  Ferida Wolff points out the down side perspective of such natural wonders (such as moths, sand, earthworms, and air) and then celebrates or finds the positive side of their virtues.  This is a great example of looking at things from various perspectives that could generate a thoughtful discussion among students.  This is a fairly easy picture book, but it will provide a lot of great lessons!

This book can be used for many different lessons, but I would start by using this text to teach students about perspective.  After giving the definition of the word perspective, I would create an t-chart chart on the whiteboard to complete while reading whole group with the students.  Record the two perspectives of each object, event, or activity.  The anchor chart will be a way for students to see the different perspectives visually rather than just orally.  With the students, discuss how the readers can see that the same object, event, or activity can be viewed in two different ways (and stressing that both ways are true).  It's even fun to hear the students generate a second perspective before turning the page to read on.
What's another perspective of dealing with the sand when you are at the beach?

The freebie is to be used after the whole-group read aloud.  It can be used in a work station or as a scoot activity.  The perspective-taking cards can even be used for a creative activity writing exercise.  If you are using this freebie in a work station or scoot activity,  print the cards on card stock, cut apart, and laminate.  This will ensure that the cards last longer.  Students will use the Perspective-Taking Activity Sheet to record two different, but true perspectives for each situation. I did not include an answer sheet because there really is no right or wrong answer.  The purpose for the activity is to get the students thinking about different sides or perspectives to every situation, object, event, or activity. Grab your freebie HERE!  This would be a great lesson before teaching growth mindset!!!

Before you head on, don't forget to enter our group giveaway.  It will be open until June 10th.  Good luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To see what else is available in our link up, check out the list below!  Enjoy!


  1. Oh my gosh, this is absolutely BRILLIANT!! Can I use this lesson with adults too?! hahaha...Wow, thank you for such a wonderful and meaningful resource :)

    The Techie Teacher

  2. I need this book! It looks amazing and will be perfect for helping students with perspective and optimism! And like Julie said, adults could use it too! Thanks for sharing!


  3. This cute book is perfect for summer! I love your post and thank you for the free lesson.