I get all excited when I find a wonderful mentor text that different grade levels can use. Not only is My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven a great mentor text, but the story is also funny, and creative in so many different levels. So the child in the story draws a picture of her family but she feels that just by looking at those simple pictures, the audience will not understand how great and special her family is. So, she decides to write similes for each member of the family including the dog. The little girl uses different objects to compare her family, and later on, these little objects appear on the portrait of their family used as part of their face or body like baseball bats for eyebrows, jelly beans as their eyes. My 4th & 5th graders enjoyed the book, and trust me, if they did, then it had to be good.
After listening to this great read aloud, we started working on similes for each member of the family. One thing that I always try to do when we have special projects is that I am part of the group, and I write with them. Using our favorite tools, oil pastel crayons, we started making a portrait of each family member and glue it on a 12 x 12 scrapbook page so that we can put the pages together in a book!
Hopefully, throughout the week I will be able to share some of their work with you.