Kristina's Favorite Picture Books for Teaching the 6 Traits

When introducing the 6 Traits to students, many teachers do so by reading mentor text. If you select a text that exemplifies the trait(s), students can learn what it means and how to accomplish similar skills within their own writing. The most popular type of mentor text used is a children's book. The text is short (which is important for a mini-lesson) and engaging for students--even those in middle school and high school!

Below is a list of suggested titles. Most teachers read a different book to represent each trait. But, if you are looking for a single title that demonstrates all 6 Traits, look for the * at the end of each title/author. These are texts that would work for all 6 Traits.

INTRODUCING IDEAS

Kindergarten
David's Drawings, Cathryn Falwell

Good Dog, Carl, Alexandra Day
Grade 1
This is My Hair, Todd Parr (out of print)

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Mem Fox
Grades 2-3
Pictures from our Vacation, Lynne Rae Perkins

Fireflies! Julie Brinckloe*
Grades 4-5
Saturdays and Teacakes, Lester Laminack*

Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street, Roni Schotter
Grades 6-12
The Table Where Rich People Sit, Byrd Baylor

The Other Side, Jacqueline Woodson*
Other Mentor Text
American Pepper, an urban legend*
for 6-12
Detailed novel excerpt, or a prologue

INTRODUCING ORGANIZATION

Kindergarten
One Duck Stuck, Phyllis Root

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
Grade 1
Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild, Mem Fox*

Scaredy Squirrel, Mélanie Watt*
Grades 2-3
When Sophie Gets Angry, Molly Bang*

Roller Coaster, Marla Frazee
Grades 4-5
Probuditi! Chris Van Allsburg

Blackout, John Rocco
Grades 6-12
The Relatives Came, Cynthia Rylant*

Smoky Night, Eve Bunting*
Other Mentor Text
The Carpet Fitter, an urban legend*
for 6-12
An excerpt with several transition words/phrases


INTRODUCING VOICE

Kindergarten
The Feelings Book, Todd Parr

Today I Feel Silly, Jamie Lee Curtis
Grade 1
Monster at the End of this Book, Jon Stone*

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Mo Willems
Grades 2-3
Hattie the Bad, Jane Devlin

The Recess Queen, Alexis O'Neill*
Grades 4-5
How Are You Peeling? Saxton Freymann

Arnie the Doughnut, Laurie Keller
Grades 6-12
The Harmonica, Tony Johnston*

Voices in the Park, Anthony Browne
Other Mentor Text
An email exchange with voice revealed in emoticons
for 6-12
Greeting cards with the same theme, different voice

 

INTRODUCING WORD CHOICE

Kindergarten
Thesaurus Rex, Laya Steinberg*

How Things Work in the House, Lisa Campbell Ernst
Grade 1
Max's Words, Kate Banks

Fancy Nancy, Jane O'Connor*
Grades 2-3
Pajama Day, Lynn Plourde* (out of print)

I'm Dirty, Kate & Jim McMullan
Grades 4-5
Walter the Farting Dog, William Kotzwinkle & Glenn Murray

Verdi, Janell Cannon
Grades 6-12
Fox, Margaret Wild*

Piggie Pie! Margie Palatini
Other Mentor Text
A poem with precise language
for 6-12
Article on a specialized subject


INTRODUCING SENTENCE FLUENCY


Kindergarten
The Magic Hat, Mem Fox
Grade 1
The Napping House, Audrey Wood*
Grades 2-3
Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp, Carol Diggory Shields*

Night in the Country, Cynthia Rylant
Grades 4-5
Come on, Rain! Karen Hesse*

Dogteam, Gary Paulsen
Grades 6-12
Mr. George Baker, Amy Hest

The Wall, Eve Bunting*
Other Mentor Text
A poem with figurative language
for 6-12
Song lyrics with figurative language


INTRODUCING CONVENTIONS

Kindergarten
CDB! William Steig
Grade 1
Yo! Yes? Christopher Raschka

Animals Black and White, Phyllis Limbacher Tildes*
Grades 2-3
Punctuation Takes a Vacation, Robin Pulver

Has Anyone Seen My Emily Greene? Norma Fox Mazer
Grades 4-5
The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg*

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, Doreen Cronin*
Grades 6-12
Eats, Shoots & Leaves (commas), Lynne Truss

Girl's Like Spaghetti (apostrophes), Lynne Truss

Twenty-Odd Ducks (20 different punctuation marks), Lynne Truss
Other Mentor Text
Incoherent text message (abbreviations, no punctuation, etc.)
for 6-12
Same message written to different audiences

 

 




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