You’ve done it, yet again! You’ve made it to the end of the school year. Okay, maybe you have a month or so to go, but you’re almost there! Definitely something to celebrate. You much deserved summer break is so close! To make your last few weeks of school even better, I’ve gathered up some of my favorite end of year mentor texts to share with you. On top of that, I paired each text with a reading skill that the book would be perfect to teach! Come and see if you can find an awesome new end of year (or spring) mentor text to add to your classroom library!
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End of Year Mentor Text #1: The Last Day of School
The thing I love about the book The Last Day of School is that it’s an actual representation of the chaos that is the last day of school. The kids running around with gifts, the cleaning out of the desks. The tears and hugs from students and teachers. It’s a fantastic, fast-paced story that takes you through the last day of school. The main character in the story is a young little boy who is quiet and timid. He has brought a special gift for his teacher but because the day was so chaotic he wasn’t able to give it to her until the very end of the day.
As you read through the story, you can actually feel the emotion, chaos, and anxiety that we all feel on the last day of school. It’s a great read for any grade! If you’re wanting to use this book to do a last-minute lesson, I would highly recommend using it to review Main Idea/Details! The main idea would be very easy for students to identify. However, having students maneuver through all of the details that the book includes to determine which would be the top three to support the main idea can be tricky and a great end of year lesson!
End of Year Mentor Text #2: The Knowing Book
The Knowing Book is a wonderful story about going out into the world and living your life. A young bunny leads us on a journey about making decisions, the importance of slowing down, and finding our self. Reading this story at the end of the year has a way of sparking tremendous discussion with students about who they want to be when they grow up, the type of person they hope to be, and what their dreams are. It lends itself to teachers reminding their students one last time to remember to be kind, to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life to the fullest. I honestly think every teacher should read this book every year. It’s a great reminder for us all!
If you want to use this story to teach a last-minute lesson, I would recommend using it to teach making connections. The book prompts us to think deeply about our lives, which sets us up for making text to self connections very easily. There are specific points in the story where it’s easy to stop and think about how what’s being said on that page effects our lives. Allow students to stop, think, and reflect on those pages to make some end of year text to self connections.
End of Year Mentor Text #3: Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden
Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden is absolutely an adorable story. As a teacher, each time I read it my eyes water and I think about all of the students I’ve taught and where they all are in their lives. In the story, Mrs. Spitzer is a kindergarten teacher. She receives a pack of seeds from her principal every year. The book goes into detail about how Mrs. Spitzer tends to the seeds, grows them into beautiful plants, takes care of each and every one of them until the season is over. The book is clearly written to compare tending a garden to tending and teaching school children. It’s beautifully written and illustrated and an absolute must-read at the end of each year!
If you want to use this story to teach a last-minute lesson, I would recommend using it to teach compare and contrast. The book does a fantastic job of giving us many details about how Mrs. Spitzer tends to her garden, step by step. Many of these details can also be used for how she cares for her students as well. Students would have fun analyzing the story and comparing ‘tending a garden’ to ‘teaching kindergarten’!
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End of Year Mentor Text #4: Cloudette
Cloudette is an adorable story about a small cloud who, even though he is happy about his size and who he is, struggles to find his place in the world. Throughout the story, the other, bigger clouds get to go off and create rain and snow around the world. Unfortunately, Cloudette isn’t big enough. He tries to find his place but can’t until finally, he comes across a dried-up pond with a lonely frog in the middle. He is so concerned for the frog that he is finally able to do what he’s never been able to do – make it rain! I love reading this story at the end of the year because it’s a simple book to read and students can relate to the message! We always discuss after reading about how it’s important to be happy with who we are. And to do whatever we can to find out place in the world.
If you want to use this story to teach a last-minute lesson, I would recommend using it to teach theme! The book walks us through Cloudette’s entire journey and gives us lots of evidence to support the overall theme. Have students take a walk back through the story. Since it’s so quick and easy to read, find evidence that does and doesn’t support the theme.
End of Year Mentor Text #5: And Then Comes Summer
And Then Comes Summer is beautifully written. And the illustrations are even better. When you read this book, you can see, hear, and even feel the summer heat! The author did an amazing job of describing the experience of summer. From the 4th of July parades to the weekends at the lake, when you read this book, you are IN summer. This is a perfect book to read at the end of the year to get students excited about summertime! And because the author treats us to a wonderful summer experience, this book is perfect for teaching visualizing!
On almost every single page, you’ll find an example of where students can practice visualizing the text. There are so many fun activities you could do with visualizing and this book is perfect to use! Have students determine which pieces of evidence help create the best visuals. Have students be the illustrator and read the story out loud to them before showing them pictures! So many fun ideas!
End of the Year Mentor Text #6: Do NOT Bring Your Dragon to the Last Day of School
This is a newer story for me but it’s PERFECT! And the title clearly gives away what’s going on 😉 Throughout the story Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Last Day of School, students bring their dragons to the last day of school and each dragon completely wrecks the special end of year events that take place like awards, field day, and outside picnics! They all learn their lesson but one little girl still wants to bring her dragon on the last day. The teacher says… Well, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out!
If you want to use this story to reach a last-minute lesson, I would recommend using it to teach cause and effect! Throughout the story, the dragons do something at the school that causes some crazy problems. Having students identify the different cause and effect relationships in this story is perfect for a quick end of year lesson!
I hope you found some new and fun books to read at the end of your school year! Make sure to hop back up and grab your FREE activities to go with each book! Want to save this post for later? Pin the image below!