Second Grade Nest: Primary Mentor Texts for Common Core Literature Standards

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Primary Mentor Texts for Common Core Literature Standards

Primary Mentor Texts Suggested Book for All Common Core Literature Standards- RL Standards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade- read alouds for teachers during the ELA block
My ELA packs for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade include 3 mini lessons, printables, passages, interactive notebook activities, task cards, and an assessment. Some of those activities require the use of a mentor text grade level book. I have had many, many requests for a suggested book list, so I wanted to create a blog post for my primary teachers to reference when using mentor texts for ELA! This is a list of 6 books for each literature standards, with affiliate links to Amazon.

Primary mentor text suggested book list for ask and answering question- teaching questioning and inference skills- RL1.1, RL2.1, RL3.1
 Ask and Answer Questions (RL1.1, RL2.1, RL3.1)
Retelling and Recounting (RL1.2, RL2.2, RL3.2)
Key skills to hit- retelling/recounting, moral/lesson, folk tales, fables, myths
The Magic Hat by Mem Fox
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
The Ant and the Grasshopper by Luli Gray
 Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Aesop's Fables Collection 
Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas (3rd Grade Only)
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
A Chair For My Mother by: Vera B. Williams
David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon

Primary mentor text suggested book list for Story Elements- RL1.3- teaching characters, setting, and events with literature
Story Elements  (RL1.3)
Key skills to hit- characters and traits, settings, events
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff

Primary mentor text suggested book list for character challenge and response- RL2.3, RL3.3- identify the way that characters can change through the story- problem and solution
Character Challenges and Solutions (RL2.3, RL3.3)
Key skills to hit- character traits, problem/solution, challenges and how the character resolves it
Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
The Name Jar by  Yangsook Choi
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion 
Jamaica's Find by Juanita Havill 
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson 

Primary mentor text suggested book list for words and phrases in stories and poetry- focus on rhyming, alliteration, repitition, feelings conveyed in a text, and words that appeal to sense- RL1.4, RL2.4
Vocabulary in Poetry (RL1.4, RL2.4)
Key skills to hit- feeling emotions while reading, imagery, poetry, sensory word, repetition
Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
When Sophie Gets Angry- Really Really Angry by Molly Bang
Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein 
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Lucille Colandro
Class Two at the Zoo by Julia Jarman

Primary mentor text suggested book list for Figurative Language- stories with personification, similies, metaphors, and alliteration- RL3.4
Figurative Language (RL3.4)
Key skills to hit- similes, metaphors, imagery, personification
The Worrywarts by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Amelia Bedelia and the Baby by Peggy Parish
I Know the River Loves Me by Maya Christina Gonzales
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Quiet as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Primary mentor text suggested book list for Story Structure- teaching the beginning, middle, and end of a story- RL2.5, RL3.5
Story Structure (RL2.5, RL3.5)
Key skills to hit- beginning, middle, end structure
Don't Slam the Door by Lori Chaconas 
No Dogs Allowed by Sonia Manzano
Chicken Little by Steven Kellogg
The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Max's Words by Kate Banks

Primary mentor text suggested book list for Point of View- focusing on how characters in the text feel about other characters or events that happen- also can compare to the way that readers feel about story, too- RL1.6, RL2.6, RL3.6
Point of View (RL1.6, RL2.6, RL3.6)
Key skills to hit- character's opinion, how a character feels about something, compare to own
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead
The Day the Crayons Quit by Draw Daywalt
My Big Dog by Janet Stevens
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Caralyn Buehner 
Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester Laminack

Primary mentor text suggested book list for illustrations in text- RL1.7, RL2.7, RL3.7 focusing on how illustrations in a text can tell an entire story or add to a story that is told through text- a few stories are even wordless
Story Illustrations (RL1.7, RL2.7, RL3.7)
Key skills- comparing text to illustration, how the illustration adds to the text
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
Flotsam by David Wiesner
Office Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms
Do You Want to Be My Friend? by Eric Carle

Primary mentor text suggested book list for comparing two texts on the same character or event by a different author- fractured fairy tales and different cultural fairy and folk tales are told- RL1.9, RL2.9
Compare Two Stories by Different Authors (RL1.9, RL2.9)
Key skills to hit- comparing and contrasting character, setting, events (different author)
Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten by Trisha Shashkan and Little Red Riding Hood by Paragon Books
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Schwartz and The Three Little Pigs by Patricia Seibert
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone and The Little Red Elf by Barbara McGrath
Cinderella by Sarah L. Thompson and The Rough Faced Girl by Rafe Martin

Primary mentor text suggested book list for comparing two texts by the same author- focuses on character, setting, and events in two different stories by one author- RL3.9
Comparing Two Stories by the Same Author (RL3.9)
Key skills to hit- comparing and contrasting character, theme, plot (same author)
Jumaji and Zarthura by Chris Van Allsburg
Fish is Fish and Swimmy by Leo Lionni
The Hat and The Mitten by Jan Brett
Wemberly Worried and Chester's Way by Kevin Henkes

For full ELA units with mini lessons for these books and extra reading passages (and much more), check out these 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade RL and RI sets.


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  1. Great suggestions for books illustrating or using specific structures or concepts. I used to have specific elements that I used throughout the year and lists of books for each theme ( friendship, character study, letter writing,,family, point of view - it was diverse) - I actually still have them. But I haven't thought yet about how to apply the CCSS to the some of the concepts or books.

  2. Thank you so much for the book suggestions! Your post is a great resource. :)