I often have students answer a journal prompt related to a good trait I want them to focus on, or have them brainstorm solutions to a problem we're having. I them read a mentor text aloud that demonstrates the trait or solutions to the problem. This is great for several reasons:
- It gives them time to think critically and encourages problem solving
- I can reinforce the writing curriculum by talking about answering prompts correctly and reminding students about proper capitalization, punctuation, and indentation. Bonus: I occasionally take this as a writing grade :)
- Some students aren't willing to share their problems or solutions as a class, but I can read their responses aloud without anyone knowing who wrote the response. This validates their point of view and builds confidence.
- The mentor texts are a great tie-in to reading
- You are never too old to be read to. This kids love it!
Here are some of my favorite mentor texts I've read so far this year:
I did this early in the year to reinforce the "personal bubble" that everyone needs. We practice with a piece of newspaper. We "newspaper dance" and spread our arms to show the right amount of space for classroom activities.
We talk about how upsetting this is and how we can deal with people that act like this.
This is also one I read early. We make a t-chart with "Tattling" on one side and "Emergency" on the other. I introduce them to the "Tattling Turtle" after reading the book. This is a poster where students can write a "tattle" on a sticky note and attach it to the poster. I can then check the note later when I have time to respond to it and open a dialog with the student about the next steps.
Are there any other good mentor texts you use to teach good character traits?