Mentor Text Linky - Using Dear Mr. Blueberry for Persuasive Writing
Elementary AMC February 02, 2014
I love Sunday mornings! Love, love, love, love, love! First, my husband makes breakfast - a good Sunday morning breakfast that keeps us going till dinner. Second it is time to find some new books, or new ways to use books I already know by checking out Amanda and Stacia's Mentor Text linky...
This week the book I am suggesting is Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James.
You may know and love this book already. You may think it is too primary for your class. I am here to share how I used it this year - and hopefully you may want to try it too - even with students a little bit older.
We used this book as a mentor text for persuasive letter writing. We had already done some persuasive writing in December for our Elf Applications so we had a pretty good foundation. These letters were used for assessment.
Before we read the book we talked about the purpose of letters and the audience for letters and made an anchor chart. We read the book - which we all love. We talk about the features of the letters, what Mr. Blueberry did to try and convince Emily she did not have a whale in her backyard and anything else we noted. We took a vote to see who was persuaded by Mr. Blueberry and who was persuaded by Emily and then we discussed why.
The next day I showed them this letter that "Jane" wrote Mrs. Raspberry (me) about a jellyfish living in her backyard. They loved it.
We looked at and labelled the parts of the letter. We talked about why a jellyfish is not in her backyard and what could we do to convince her. I passed out jellyfish information cards to pairs of students. We highlighted the facts we thought we could use to convince her. Then I showed them the letter I wrote back to Jane - but I think next time I would co-write a letter with my students.
Then my students selected one of seven animals (lion, giraffe, kangaroo, shark, octopus, chimpanzee or dolphin) to write about. They each got a letter from Jane about a new "pet" she found in her backyard. They also got an information card on their animal. They used the information card, what they knew about letter writing and persuasive writing to reply to Jane.
The best part, the day I told them they ***FAILED***. I told them I had good news and bad news. The bad news, they failed to convince Jane. The good news, they had a chance to try again. I gave them all a second letter from Jane - they were shocked they did not convince her the first time (really some of my grade 3's thought there was a Jane - or wanted to believe or at least enough to get into the assignment).
We had loads of fun and there are all kinds of ways to differentiate this - have students do their own research, write to each other as teacher/student, write a letter to Jane from the animal - loads of writing fun to be had!!!
I have the posters, anchor charts, letters, information cards, writing organizers, writing pages, checklist and bulletin boards in a unit in my TPT store. You can check it out here - it is on sale today along with my entire store.
You could also PIN it to Win it.
All you need to do is:
1) pin any of the images from this blog post
2) leave a comment with the pin URL (copy and paste the address of the pin) and your email.
I will use a random number generator to select two winners.
Have a great Sunday - enjoy the big game, or blog reading or shopping - whatever it is that you are doing today!!