Sunday, August 4, 2013

Must Read Mentor Text: The Important Book

 It's time for Must Read Mentor Texts with the cutest cuties Amanda & Stacia!
 The Important Book is a patterned text that I use at the beginning of the school year. I use this book for a variety of reasons:

 I love the simplicity of the text, the pattern format provides an easy framework for all students to follow and feel “safe” for one of their first writing assignments. I read the book as a model first so they see the pattern to follow to make our class book. My students get in pairs (this year they will be using my new Partner Picking Cards) and interview each other to learn more about their classmate. After talking and taking notes, they complete the template that follows The Important Book’s format.

This activity is perfect for building community and fostering those relationships right away. They have to find what they think is “important” about their classmate and highlight their partner in their writing. It makes everyone feel special!

 After completing the writing portion of the template, they illustrate a picture to represent what they highlighted as the “most important thing” about their partner. (I made the template with a space for a 4x6 photo in case some teachers prefer to take photographs of the partners). I compile all of my students’ work and make a class book. They take turns taking the book home and having their families sign the comment page. My students love bringing this book home which builds community outside our classroom as well!
These are student samples from our class book (6 years ago-before my templates).
The beauty of the simple text is that Margaret Wise Brown has carefully selected which details to include about a spoon or a flower and elaborates her writing, a great model for students.

This template is perfect to introduce organization and idea development for writing.
It will be a flash freebie today! Please leave feedback if you download-thanks in advance! :O)
Click here to download!

This book is also wonderful to use in the content areas as well! I've included a template to brainstorm for social studies and science as well. What a great way to sum up learning for a unit of study!
Make sure you check out all the wonderful mentor texts and ideas at Collaboration Cuties linky!


  1. Love this book! I actually used it in an interview/model writing lesson with a first grade class before I got my very teaching job. I have no idea what happened to it though because I've been working on organizing my books and haven't seen it. Thanks for sharing your idea...I like how you used it.

    Literacy Spark

  2. Thank you so much! That is a great package you made and shared.
    Grade 4 Buzz

  3. I love this book, and I love having my kiddos write their own. Thank you so much for the organizers. I am looking forward to using them with my kids this year.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  4. I love this book! And I adore how you use it at the beginning of the year! What a great idea! You always have the best ideas! Thank you for the freebie!!

    Collaboration Cuties

  5. I have many teacher friends that have used this book. Good recommendation!


  6. I love this book! I've read it a lot with my kiddos, but I've never thought about using it at the beginning of the year to get to know each other. Great idea! Thanks!

    -Amanda @
    Teacher at the Wheel

  7. You are so nice to give away your class book template for free! <3 Thank you for the wonderful idea!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  8. We use it the same way! I LOVE it and have books from the past five years in my classroom. My students love reading the work of past students! :)
    Pinkadots Elementary

  9. I love this book, and I use it for organization. I also have students interview each other at the beginning of the year. However, I never thought of putting the two together in an activity like this. I'm on my way to download it.

    Thank you!

  10. I found a great book yesterday (don't know how I've never seen it before) that I've gotten from the library until I can find my own copy: "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" It is about encouraging others and how the power of our words have an effect not just on others but on ourselves. When we fill someone's bucket with loving or encouraging words, we find we are filled too. I can't wait to share this with my students the first week. I am currently putting together a board on the classroom where they will each have their own bucket. There will also be a bucket with blank slips for them to fill out to fill someone's bucket with something encouraging. Then on Friday's they will take home an envelope that has their messages to sit and share with their family. Of course it will take some training to start, but what a great practice in writing, and a way to create a family atmosphere in the classroom! I can't wait to see how it works!!! And to see them fill buckets everywhere!!

  11. So nice meeting you and Lily today! What a nice lunch!...We need to do that again!

  12. I have not used this book yet but I love the way you use it. I love making class books - especially as one of our first writing activities. Thanks for sharing your class examples. I love your template too - especially all the room for details - starting them off right :)

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