Finding the right mentor text to use for your mini-lessons or interactive read-alouds is sometimes just a click away! One of my favorite parts about the seasons and holiday changing is bringing out the new books for my students to explore. As well as for me to use when teaching! And since Spring is right around the corner, it’s time to share some of my favorite spring mentor texts that you can use in the elementary classroom!
Not only have I picked out some amazing spring picture books for you to check out, but I have also paired each book with a reading skill that the book would be perfect for using to teach! Check out the list below and make sure to snag your free graphic organizers for the books as well!
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Spring Mentor Text #1: Sally Jean Bicycle Queen
There’s nothing better in the springtime than being able to get out and on your bike! Sally Jean Bicycle Queen is a wonderful story about a very ambitious girl who works hard to not only learn how to ride a bike, but also to find a way to buy and build a new bike for herself. There’s a lot happening in the story, from Sally growing up, to outgrowing her old bike, to Sally volunteering for her neighbor in order to find materials to help build her new bike. It’s a very busy story!
This book is perfect for helping to teach sequencing & plot! Why? There’s a LOT going on in the book and this makes it the perfect opportunity for students to determine which events are significant to the plot and then use those events to practice sequencing. Because the book has so much going on, this is a great chance for students to understand that some events in the text are more important than others. Students get to determine which are important to the plot. Then they can use those events and practice placing them in sequential order.
Spring Mentor Text #2: Florette
Florette is a simple but beautiful story about a young girl who moves from the country to the city. She is missing all of the ‘green’ that she loved to play in outside. The girl tries hard to recreate the wonderful outdoors with chalk and photos, but it doesn’t do it justice. It’s not until she finds a little piece of greenery that she takes home and nurtures that her world is better and complete.
This book is perfect for teaching the skill of problem and solution. The book has a very clear problem, but the great part about it is that the character attempts multiple solutions. The final ‘solution’ itself doesn’t even come from the character, but instead, her influence on others and their actions! Such a great conversation to have with your students!
Spring Mentor Text #3: Seeds and Trees
I couldn’t believe how powerful this book was after I read it. The deep thoughts and discussions that came from the book were amazing! I highly recommend this book to anyone teaching elementary learners! Essentially, the story is about a young prince who is given a seed for every word spoken to him. He’s given green seeds for the nice and kind words. He is given black seeds for the rude and mean words spoken to him. The prince plants all of the seeds and tends to them in hopes of growing a beautiful forest for his kingdom.
What he quickly finds out is that the black seeds grow large, black, thorny trees that make him angry. The green seeds grow into beautiful trees that make him smile. It’s not until a good friend teaches him how to cast the black seeds away that his forest is truly complete.
If this book doesn’t scream symbolism, I don’t know what does! The seeds and trees all symbolize the words and people in our lives and the impact they can have on us. Even if symbolism isn’t a standard for your grade level, your students can still have meaningful discussions about the actions the prince and his friend took and what they truly represent! Definitely grab this one for your classroom!
Want to snag all of the graphic organizers for the Spring mentor texts? Grab them for FREE below!
Spring Mentor Text #4: The Tree Lady
I love finding picture books that are also biographies! Introducing this wonderful genre to students can sometimes be tricky, but when the book presents itself in the form of traditional fiction story structure, it becomes easy! This book is all about the life of Kate Simmons, whose influence in the San Diego area didn’t go unnoticed! She’s known as the ‘tree lady’ because she helped introduce hundreds of new trees to the area. An area in which, back then, many people thought trees couldn’t survive. She was very different from the other girls growing up with a love and passion for science. The book takes us through her life and shows us the impact one person can make on the world!
For this book, I would absolutely teach characterization! The book does a tremendous job of showcasing how unique and different Kate was from others around her. We can take this evidence and analyze Kate as a character to see what makes her stand out from others!
Spring Mentor Text #5: The Curious Garden
Such an adorable story and perfect for spring! A young boy moves into the city and is very much missing all of the beautiful trees and greenery. The city is very dreary, but despite that, he still loves to be outside and explore! His explorations take him to an abandoned train track where he finds some almost dying flowers and plants. He works hard to tend to them and helps them to grow. Because of his actions, the dreary city is turned into a luscious place to live!
I would recommend using this book to help teach Making Inferences. The book has some great opportunities to stop and make simple and complex inferences. A great chance to model inferences when reading aloud or creating an anchor chart together!
Spring Mentor Text #6: Everything You Need to Build a Treehouse
This book is so unique! I’m so glad I stumbled upon it when I did! It’s a great book to show students that not all picture books will follow the typical fiction story structure. This book is one I would consider more complex. It’s written in more of a poetic type of writing, which can make it a bit difficult to comprehend. YOu might need to read it aloud a few times! But the author does an amazing job of using vivid language and descriptive words throughout to help students be able to see and use their imagination!
That’s why this book is perfect for teaching visualization! Finding specific pages in the book and allowing students to stop and illustrate what they are seeing in their minds can help increase their comprehension.
Spring Mentor Text #7: The Bee Tree
This book is an absolute classic! But then again, what book by Patricia Polacco isn’t!? The Bee Tree is a fantastic book about a young girl and her grampa. They go on an adventure to find the bee tree (the tree with the hive) and along their adventure, many others decide to join in! The book has an amazing lesson about the importance of reading that will just melt your heart! I think every teacher should have to read this book to their students every year!
This book would be perfect for teaching sequencing! Why? On the journey, many other people decide to join in on the hunt for the bee tree. What better way to practice sequencing than to have students have to reorder the people in the sequential order in which they joined in on the hunt! This could make for a fun and easy interactive lesson, perfect for a quick mini-lesson on sequencing!
I hope you found some new and amazing Spring mentor texts to help fill your classroom this spring! Make sure to head back up and snag your FREE graphic organizers! I also have winter mentor texts for your classroom, if you are interested!
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