Mentor Text for Science and a Freebie

I am very excited to be linking up with the amazing ladies at Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Text linky because it is my first time linking up a science book. I've found a lot of great books from this linky but I've also realized I do not use nearly enough picture books in my science program. I've struggled to think of books to share and I will really, really, really need to work on this next year!

But I do have a book to share today that you could use as a mentor text in science.

This book is obviously part of the "Let's Read and Find Out Science" series. It is a stage 2 book which is apparently for primary students and introduces more challenging concepts.

You may wonder why a teacher in Canada would be teaching about alligators (not a whole lot of gators running around here) but our school mascot is a gator so......Also it fits with our Grade 4 Habitat and Animal Adaptations unit. One more reason is it is a good non-fiction text.

Here is why I like this book:

*it emphasizes the importance of the alligator to the ecosystem  (keystone animal)- how other animals depend on the alligator

*it talks about animals at risk of extinction, how people worked to save the alligator and how the Chinese alligator is still at risk - it poses the question how might the Chinese alligator be saved too

*it includes a quick little activity to show the importance of an alligator hole

*it has many features of a non-fiction text but it is illustrated - this is often confusing to students, they see illustrations and they think it is fiction. I find that my students often confuse "cartoon-like" drawings as a super important indicator and ignore other features. This book does a great job of showing that the other features (characters, setting, problem or facts) are way more important.

Here are a few pics of the book:

Another way I used this book:

*we had a class gator mascot that would go home with students for a week and the students would write journal entries about their adventures with Skippy. As part of the at home package were books on gators (fiction and non-fiction). They read the books, picked a fiction and non-fiction book and did a little reading response page for each.

On a totally unrelated note, I would also like to link up with Molly at Lucky to be in First for her Fabulous Freebies on the Fifteenth. I wanted to quickly link up before it got to far away from the 15th. We are in countdown mode and last week we had "Marshmallow Day" and I made a few little activities I would like to share with you. If you can't tell, I needed to quickly review patterning : )

Click here to pick up the freebie. There are two patterning pages and 3 pages using a chart to find the pattern.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. I am kicking myself for not picking up this book at the Gardens store I visited today!! I saw it, and resisted that urge! Now it's on my wish list!

    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  2. Such a great series of books--I have not read this one. Love the adventures of Skippy idea... Thanks for the freebie!

    Have a great week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  3. My mom lives in Hilton Head and there are always alligators hiding around there! Scary...I won't let the kids go outside. I bet my boys would enjoy this book. :) Thanks for sharing. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. I love the idea of the mascot going home WITH books to read! Thanks for sharing about this great gator book! :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  5. Cute book and awesome marshmallow sequencing activity! I am going to save this for my "m" day next year! Such a great activity. Good luck on these last few days:)
    Fun in Room 4B

  6. Oh we Canadians don't need to justify anything we do to teach! We just get er done! Love you choice, I think that whole series is awesome. When I was the science consultant for the Toronto board I used that series in workshops, and also put a few of the books in some of the science kits I created! Thanks for sharing...this was my first time linking up too!

  7. I love when you can use a book for multiple subjects! Cute idea with the mascot! :O) And, how adorable is that marshmallow freebie? Thanks for sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. Yay for linking up a science book! GO AMC!! I love those books! I love that you incorporate it with your school mascot and they get to take it home! Great idea!

    Love the s'mores activity! S'mores are my absolute favorite and that clipart is ADORABLE! I need it!

    I hope you enjoy your last few days! (it is last few days, right? I feel like your school year is going on FOREVER!) ;O)
    Collaboration Cuties


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