Easy Way to Use Books for Cross-Curricular Teaching

Mentor texts can be a powerful cross-curricular teaching tool to engage students in reading while teaching them about the world around them. Mentor texts can empower students to learn about different people, cultures, or topics they might not otherwise experience. They can also teach students to empathize with others. This is why I created mentor text units. They are designed to help students think critically about the world while actively engaging in reading and writing activities. Integrating ready to go mentor text units is a great way to make using books in your teaching a bit easier.

How to Use My Mentor Text Units

I offer my mentor text units in both digital and printable versions, so they are flexible despite ongoing changes in education. The printable unit is ideal for in-person learning, while the digital unit can be used for complete distance learning. However, even if you are in person, you may consider adding some of the digital components to your lessons to further engage your students in the unit and integrate technology.

These mentor text units include five days of lessons and activities that incorporate different reading, writing, and other subject areas, including social studies and social-emotional learning.

Digital Mentor Texts for Classroom & Distance Learning

Each day provides an outline and format for you and your students to follow. Typically, on day one, students are introduced to the text. They build background and learn key vocabulary. Next, students read the story. This story can be shared digitally through the embedded video on YouTube. Next, students respond to comprehension questions. On day three or four, another skill is introduced that may be comprehension or language-based. These units often include other activities such as learning about the author or historical background related to the topic. Many also have paired texts and further skills and integrated videos to learn more about the topic. At the end of the unit, students complete a writing activity that is either a response or genre-based.

The key components of the digital units include YouTube read alouds and other videos to build background knowledge on the topic.

Printable Mentor Texts are Perfect for Classroom Learning

Everything included in the printable version is also available in the digital version but in a print-friendly format. In addition, the printable units include sticky note discussion questions teachers can place in their mentor texts to use during the read aloud. Some of these units also include printable coloring toppers for bulletin boards or related crafts.

Image showing mentor text unit focused on literature using sandwich swap book

Check out this video that shows My Sandwich Swap Unit in action!

The Sandwich Swap (2nd-4th Grade)

All the Way to the Top (2nd-4th Grade)

Juno Valentine focus on Biography  (2nd-4th Grade)

Trombone Shorty (2nd-4th Grade)

We Are Water Protectors (2nd-5th Grade)

The Oldest Student (3rd -5th Grade)

Have a suggestion for a book you would love a unit on? Send me an email with your suggestion!

If you’re interested in integrating mentor texts into your writing units, check out my blog, THE BEST MENTOR TEXT BOOKS FOR TEACHING WRITING & WRITER’S WORKSHOP.

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