Today I’m linking up with The Reading Crew to share mentor texts for various comprehension strategies. One of my FAVORITE books is an oldie but a goodie and it’s PERFECT for teaching central message or lesson. Dandelion was published in 1977 (two weeks before I was born–ha!) It was written by Don Freeman, the author of Corduroy. It’s an engaging story that’s the perfect mentor text for teaching even the littlest learners about the central message or lesson of a story.
About the Book
When Dandelion gets an invitation to a party, he’s excited. The invitation is extra fancy, so Dandelion decides to get himself all dressed up. But when he gets to the party, no one recognizes him! Fortunately, it all works out in the end, and Dandelion learns an important lesson about being true to who you are.
Introducing the Lesson
Introduce the lesson by sharing the CC standard that students will be working on as well as the Essential Question.
CCSS: RL.1.2 Retell stories including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson; RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
Essential Question: How do good readers determine the theme or central message of a story?
I like to think of and define the Central Message, Moral, or Lesson as that light bulb moment or “Aha!” when the reader finally GETS what the author is trying to teach them. Use this anchor chart to help students understand what the Central Message or Lesson means.
Explain to students that you will read them one of your favorite books and they will listen and look for a light bulb moment in that story when a character learns a lesson.
Anchor Chart Idea
The light bulb moment in Dandelion comes when the main character is standing in the rain, drenched, with his new image completely ruined. At that moment, Dandelion realizes that he tried to be someone he wasn’t. In doing so, his friends no longer even recognized him or wanted to be with him. When he went back to being himself, he was happy–and so were his friends.
Students quickly deduce that it’s always best to be yourself.
How to Use My FREE Resource
After reading and discussing the Central Message or Lesson in the book, have students complete the response craft and writing prompt to demonstrate their understanding of the book’s central message. I’ve included a colored version that you can print with colored ink–and a black and white version that students can color on their own.
Extending the Lesson
Next, have students read a book of their choosing and then use the following response page to share the Central Message or Lesson. You can also print some yellow sticky notes for students to actually stick in their book when they get to the Central Message or Lesson!
Here are some amazing books for teaching Central Message or Lesson.
Your FREE Download
I’d love to share this Dandelion mini comprehension packet with you! You can download it below. Be sure to pin this post so others can find this fabulous freebie!
More Free Mentor Text Ideas and Resources Plus a GIVEAWAY!
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