Must Read Mentor Text - Recess Queen & Point of View

While I am off enjoying some family vacation time I wanted to share with you a book I love using so I am linking up with Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for the inspirational, educational and bank account depleting ;) linky...

The book I am suggesting to you is The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill and Laura Huliska -Beith

This is the story of Mean Jean the recess queen who bullies all the other students on the playground until the new girl shows up, Katie Sue, and she solves the problem!!

This is of course a fantastic book to use at the beginning of the year when establishing classroom community, or during an anti-bullying campaign. But I also use it as a mentor text and formative assessment tool when teaching Point of View and Making Inferences (these two are just so entwined).

Here is what I do. First we read the book as a whole class. Many of the students know the book but that is okay. It is a book that kids can make a lot of connections to, about being a new kid, problems on the playground etc. We talk briefly about the story. Then the move on to the activity. Use what they know about the story, clues from the pictures (facial expressions) and their own ideas to make thought/speech bubbles for characters in the story.

Here is what their activity looks like:

It is pictures from the book with the text blocked out. The first few pictures include the bubbles to help guide the students then their are pictures without so they choose who to write a bubble for. I use this as a formative assessment. After this activity we continue to focus on POV and inferences based on what the characters says, does, shows and our own experiences. We also work on citing evidence and providing strong support.

Here is a checklist that I use:

Here is what I will display in my class this year (it is made with my Reading Goals Chart editable pages) and the checklist I will have for students. You can download these for free here.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I love the lesson idea. Looks like I have another book to add to my cart!
    Have a wonderful time on vacation.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I LOVE this book! Our counselor reads it to our 3rd graders every year. I like the Point of View idea to go with it.
    Our counselor also reads Stand Tall, Molly Sue Melon.


  3. Thanks so much for the point of view idea and freebie! I just added this book to my Amazon wishlist, as I don't have this one. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for the awesome download!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  5. This is a great way to work on POV. :) Thanks for sharing.
    Creating Lifelong Learners
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  6. Love your checklist! This is perfect for teachers! You're so generous! I get to save money because I have this book! Yay!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. Well, as soon as I saw this post I bought the book. As in right then. But then I saw more books I "needed" and so I got them too. I think this post about bankrupted me... ;O)

    I love all of this and will be using it this year. Thank you for making my life easier (and happier) in many ways!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. This is one of my favorite books! I have used it for character analysis/change. I never thought about using it for inferences and point of view. Great idea!

    Eclectic Educating

  9. Love how you use this book! I would agree that this linky is the most costly, I'm sure Amazon loves me after Sunday nights ;) ... However, I already own this book! Yay! Love that you were able to tie inferencing and schema to this great book. So clever :)

    Thanks for the download,
    My Shoe String Life
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  10. This is definitely a great book. I absolutely love your idea of adding the speech balloons! Thank you for sharing.


  11. I love this book! I also love your checklist! Thank you so much for sharing it!


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