Growing Readers & Writers with Mentor Texts GIVEAWAY and a FREEBIE

Hello and welcome to the Growing Readers & Writers by Teaching with Mentor Texts linky. This is my first time teaming up with The Reading Crew and I couldn't be more excited. Be sure to check out everyone's blog post that contains a mentor text suggestion along with a FREEBIE. Also, on each blog you will find a mystery word at the end of the post. Please be sure to record them because you will need each word for a five point entry in our rafflecopter giveaway. Click {HERE} to download and print the form to help you keep track of the words. We are raffling off an Amazon gift card!

This linky was incredibly hard for me to choose just ONE mentor text. I ran up to my attic and had a ball going through all of my classroom texts. You know...the ones that teachers keep on the highest shelf of their bookcase in their classroom to pull at the most appropriate moment. THAT STASH.

As soon as Edward the Emu appeared, I KNEW that was THE ONE. Students of all ages love this book. Teachers do too :)

Edward the Emu is sick of where he lives, the zoo. Throughout the book he states "there is nowhere to go, there is nothing to do". Edward is also tired of being an Emu and strongly desires to be something else. His journey of "testing out" the life of other animals quickly shows Edward that being an emu might be the best thing after all. Edward returns home to find a big surprise awaiting him...
Most children in the United States have never heard of an emu since it is an Australian bird. To build background knowledge about emus,  have students guess/predict what exactly an emu is by giving them CLUES (wait to show the cover of the book). Here is a little FREE presentation you can launch to play the predicting game:

Click the image to take you to this Google Presentation
After figuring out what an emu is, your students can do a little online research by visiting San Diego's Zoo for Kids website. The animal sounds, colorful display and vivid pictures make this website one of a kind!

Once students have built their background knowledge about emus, it is time for the grand reveal of the book. I love to wrap my mentor texts in wrapping paper and put a bow on top to build suspense. What is in the package? WHO will get to open it? Or I like to dramatically pull it down from THE TOP SHELF. I once had a "special delivery" arrive at our door which was a treasure chest that contained our mentor text. Whatever method you choose, you KNOW those little minds are racing with excitement and they want YOU to read that book to them. 
This story is a great text to use to support the comprehension skill of making predictions. We want to teach and model predicting for our students to make them active thinkers as they read. If they stop and make a guess about what might happen next then they are setting a purpose for their reading--to find out if their prediction was correct or not. Predicting is a skill that needs to be modeled often, especially with the little ones. We need to teach our students how to look for clues as we are reading which will help them put all of the pieces together. Just as important, we also need to make sure to emphasize that it is okay if our predictions are wrong because that is what makes a story fun and exciting. However, guiding students to make appropriate predictions that are not "off the wall" is key.

Therefore, this DIGITAL resource will help your students practice the skill of making predictions. It will be free for the length of this linky (March 18th-21st). You can easily adapt this product to work before, during or even after reading the text. You choose! Or, do it all three times :) The most effective use of this Google Presentation is to make it one, collaborative presentation. This means ALL, yes ALL of your students will hop onto the same presentation. You can assign them a slide number to work on. They have a choice of typing in their prediction, drawing their prediction or adding images from the image search inside of the crystal ball. As you can tell in the 3rd picture, I am terrible at drawing on the computer so I would choose a different option :)

Edward the Emu Making Predictions Activity

Once each child enters their prediction and adds their selfie, put the collaborative presentation into PRESENT mode and advance through the slides for the entire class to see. Seeing and listening to other people's predictions helps everyone become better at this skill. Everyone has a different way of thinking and it is so important to expose children to this reality.

Of course you can use this product independently if need be!

This product contains directions and the following templates:

♥ Edward the Emu prediction (you can use before you read the book or stop in the middle)
♥ Edwina the Emu prediction (use after you read Edward the Emu..what do you think will happen in the next book?)
♥ A blank template that you can add a title for any book you choose to read in case you do not have access to this book
This product will be FREE March 18th-21st.
Making Predictions in Google Slides
Click the image to take you to this product
An easy lesson extension to get your students writing and their creativity flowing would be to have them type a different ending to Edward the Emu in a Google Doc. They could collaborate on an ending with a partner or just type up an ending on their own!

Also, be sure to check out the sequel: Edwina the Emu.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my entire disclosure statement here.

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Thank you for joining us today! My mystery word is Emu.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all of The Reading Crew's amazing posts:


  1. I have never heard of this book, but it looks great! I love the way you incorporated google slides - what a great idea!
    Reading in Room 11

  2. Thank you so much, Julie. Love the way you integrate technology into the lesson. Such a precious book.

  3. I am so excited to use this with my fourth graders in computer lab this week - I'm always looking for meaningful ways that they can hone their technology skills, and this super engaging collaborative activity fits the bill! Thank you for sharing such a sweet book with a very fun technology/integration component - my big kids will absolutely love this!

  4. I'm excited to check out this book, and I love integrating tech with literacy. Thanks so much for joining us and sharing your fabulous idea.

  5. Oh my goodness - this book is a hoot! I can't wait to add it to my collection. I love the integration of Google slides too!

    Abby @ Third Grade Bookworm

  6. I can't wait to check out this book and its sequel- I've never heard of either of them! Thanks!

  7. Thanks so much for the freebie. I've heard of this book before but have never read it. The sequel looks cool too. Can't wait to try out your product.