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Spring Into Reading Linky


Welcome friends!

I hope that you are enjoying your stops along The Reading Crew's spring blog hop! May you gather great ideas to use in your classroom in the days ahead!  My contribution to this month's collection of favorite mentor texts is a thought-provoking story that will help you teach compare and contrast skills to your primary grade students.


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.




Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.


In Janet Stevens' Tops and Bottoms, we meet the same Hare who lost the race with a Tortoise in Aesop's famous fable, but he has since learned his lesson.  He is now industrious, focused, and an "animal with a plan," which contrasts sharply with the sluggish work ethic of his neighbor, Bear.

Bear is content to spend his days laying about and sleeping, while his business partner, Hare, sows the seeds for, water, weed, and harvest the crops in their shared garden.  When Hare recognizes Bear's lazy work ethic, he uses it to his advantage to make a series of bargains.  Your students will delight in Hare's ingenuity each time he has to strike a deal with Bear and ultimately reaps the benefits of what grows above and below the rich soil of their farm fields.


Before reading Tops and Bottoms to my second graders, I like to share Jerry Pinkney's beautifully illustrated and wordless version of The Tortoise and the Hare.  This gives them a sense of how selfish and boastful Hare used to be, and leads to a wonderful discussion of how his disposition has changed and improved over time.

Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.




Before even showing my class the cover of Tops and Bottoms, I reveal the book's lovely end pages and then scribe on chart paper as they name each vegetable shown, as well as others they can think of, that grow on "top" of the soil or on the "bottom."  You can also encourage them to think like botanists as they sort and classify, discussing which parts of each plant is edible--the leaf, stem, or root!


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.




Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.


While reading the story, I stop each time Hare prepares to plant a new crop.  I ask student volunteers to use the picture cards shown below, along with a large pocket chart, to sort which vegetables might grow in each newly tilled plot.

Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.



A fun follow-up to this story is to have students sort seed packets for the  top, bottom, and middle vegetables grown by Hare, and then write in their personal journals about which ones they might plant if they had a garden of their own.  They could also write an opinion piece about their favorite and/or least favorite vegetables! My humorous--and completely true--example follows.....

Planting My Vegetable Garden
by Mrs. Reynolds

I would plant corn in my garden because I love to eat it roasted with lots of salt and butter in the summer time!  It is the best vegetable because it is crunchy and sweet.  It is not smelly or mushy like brussel sprouts and lima beans.  I would never plant brussel sprouts or lima beans in my garden!


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.




Because this story has two characters with very different character traits, it lends itself well to creating a Venn Diagram or chart that allows students to note their important differences.  You can use the adjective cards provided to encourage your students to "turn and talk" to come up with some other synonyms, and antonyms that describe Bear and Hare.


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.


Once your class has thoroughly discussed the personalities and actions of both Bear and Hare, students can then use the template below to write a friendly letter to their favorite character.  They can also choose to write a letter from one character to the other!  See my example below....


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.


You will find all of the featured picture cards, compare/contrast cards, and letter template
in this FREEBIE in my TpT store !

Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.




Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.

These favorite picture books also make great spring garden-themed read-alouds!  You'll find other ideas and activities on my Pinterest page as well!


Also, check out this post over at Joyful Homemaking and learn how to make these
easy-breezy snacks for the Veggie Tasting Party you can 
host for your students after reading Tops and Bottoms!  

Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.
Credit:  Joyful Homemaking



Be sure to complete all of the Rafflecopter entries for a chance to win!

My secret word is.....
GARDEN





Thanks again for stopping by!

I truly appreciate your time and interest, and hope that you and your students will enjoy the activities!

Be sure to visit these other blogs for more marvelous mentor text lessons!

Know that we appreciate your continued support and readership!




PIN FOR LATER
Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting both the character traits of Bear and Hare, and the vegetables growing in their garden, using Janet Stevens' TOPS AND BOTTOMS as a mentor text.

Keep Calm and Teach On!




Jennifer Reynolds
4 Comments
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4 comments:

  1. I LOVE Tops & Bottoms...great pick! Your sorting seed packets activity is adorable. Thank you for the great ideas!
    Julie
    The Techie Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh this book!!! I can't get enough of it! "It's a done deal!" There are so many great books in this post. Thank you for all the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW! So many amazing resources! I would love to read this book with my kids!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this book and look forward to trying out this lesson! Thank you for your ideas and resources. :)

    ReplyDelete

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