Sunday, June 2, 2013

Reading Workshop Mentor Text-Chris Van Allsburg

Happy Sunday! It is time to link up with Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Texts. I shared last month about one of my go-to authors for Reading Workshop, you can read more about it here.


Today I want to share another one of my favorite authors; Chris Van Allsburg. He is well known by my students for writing The Polar Express, and Jumanji but most of my students don't know his other work. I enjoy all of his books, so much so that we use most of them throughout the year in Reading Workshop. The Stranger and The Sweetest Fig are probably my two favorite.

I use them both to teach synthesizing, questioning, and inferences. Both of the stories are great for these skills. The start of making you ask questions, and then make you change your mind as you read. This years class loved The Sweetest Fig so much that they started to ask me for it (I keep my mentor texts behind my desk) during reading time so they could reread it.
When I am teaching synthesizing I use this bookmark to help my kids. It is free from my TPT store. I have my kids use the bookmark as a bookmark during the first week that we are learning synthesizing, then we tape it into our reading notebooks as a guide. Some of them really need the visual reminder of what synthesizing is before the really understand.

Who are your go-to authors when you teach synthesizing?Be sure to head over to Collaboration Cuties for more great mentor text ideas!


  1. His books are so great for teaching reading strategies. Thanks for the bookmark freebie. I have to admit that synthesizing is the strategy that I am probably the weakest on (oh well, another goal for next year).

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. I LOVE The Stranger- It's a good thing I saw your post because I would have written about this one! The kids love it!

    Thanks for the bookmark- what a great idea!

    Koonce’s Korner

  3. I LOVE all of his books! Thanks so much for the bookmark freebie! Kids will love it!!!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing the bookmark freebie! Chris Van Allsburg's books ARE perfect for inference...

    All the best--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  5. As I'm sure you know...I am a huge fan of Chris Van Allsburg! Thanks for sharing some activities to use with his books. :) Love the bookmark. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  6. I love "The Stranger" for inferencing too! Unfortunately, I don't own the book and forgot to borrow it this year. Thanks for the reminder:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  7. Oh man. I forgot about these two books!!! He does have so many good ones! Thanks for the reminder!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  8. I like Chris Van Allsburg! He's so weird! I have never seen either of these books! I will have to check them out for sure! I can imagine that these books would be great for inferencing and synthesizing because all of his books are! Thanks so much for the bookmarks and the ideas! This linky is killing my bank account! ;O)

    Collaboration Cuties

  9. Don't you love when kids ask for you to actually read a book again instead of so many other times when they complain about reading something over's usually our guided reading books for my little friends that they groan about reading again! :) Thanks for sharing these ideas- I don't have a list of books that I use for synthesizing yet, so this will help get my list going!
    Learning to the Core