Spinning Through the Universe {A Must Read Mentor Text}

Spinning Through the Universe {A Must Read Mentor Text}

I’m linking up with the Collaboration Cuties’ Mentor Text linky to share a great mentor text for language arts.

I just read this great novel in poems yesterday and was excited to see that the ‘theme’ for the mentor texts this Sunday was language arts! I wanted to share this book, Spinning through the Universe by Helen Frost for quite a few reasons. All of the poems in the book were written by Helen as if they were written by children in her classroom. The children in the book were all fictional, but she based their poems and personalities off of students she had in the past.

One of the things that I really liked about this book was that fifth grade/sixth grade students would be able to relate with the stories told through poems. Death of a parent, homelessness, dealing with feelings towards the opposite gender, cheating, speaking another language, and more. I think there is at least one aspect in the book that almost all children could relate to in one way or another.

Another thing that I liked was the wide variety of poem types that the author included. She uses terza rima, haiku, tritina, nonce form, blank verse, sestina, tanka, acrostic, kyrielle, pantoum, bragi, crown of sonnets, quatern, villanelle, tercelle, raccontino, rondelet, balance, scallop, alphabet poem, prose poem, and ottava rima. I had never even heard of some of these types of poems before I read this book!

At the end of the book she breaks down each different type and lists which child’s poem she wrote using which type of poem. This would be extremely beneficial if you wanted students to write a poem and you gave them the opportunity to choose which type they would want to use. They would be able to read about the form of the poem and then also have a mentor poem to go off of.

The last reason I like it? It is a really quick, and relatively easy read. The poems don’t seem to be written at a level way over that of fifth or sixth graders and they are very relatable as well. I finished reading it in a couple of hours and I am looking forward to sharing it with our sixth graders this year.

If you have a great mentor text for language arts that you’d like to share, feel free to go over the the Collaboration Cuties’ blog and link up!

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I also wanted to share some great giveaways and a printable blog calendar freebie!

Corrina fromMrs. Allen’s Teaching Files made a great blog planner that you can get for free if you sign up for her newsletters. I got the planner and it is great! If you’d like a copy, just click the link above and sign up for her newsletter.

Alyson fromKid Lit Frenzy is giving away a copy of the movie tie-in book The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordian and a $15 visa gift card so you can go see the movie. I just found her blog after I saw someone share this giveaway on twitter and I am excited to read more. She has reviews of a lot of children’s and young adult books.

Lindsay from If You Give a Teacher a Treat is having a 100 follower giveaway and she is giving away one of her theme bundles and any one item from her TpT store.

Amy from The Littlest Superheroes is having a 30th birthday/Back to School giveaway where you could win everything from her TpT store and a lot of other great items from other TpT stores!