How to Teach Theme with Extra Yarn


Welcome to the Winter Mentor Text Blog Hop!

I am so glad you are here to gather great literacy lesson plans and fabulous free resources as you read through the variety of winter mentor text posts.  The posts in this link-up were written by some of my favorite teacher-authors from The Reading Crew.

In this post, I will be sharing ideas about how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach theme. This Caldecott Honor book is simply and beautifully illustrated by Jon Klassen.  It tells the story of how one little girl and her thoughtful, generous actions change the landscape and disposition of her entire town.  Annabelle is the main character in Extra Yarn, and the quietly powerful story of how she shares her talent of knitting with others is a great springboard for classroom discussions about the themes of kindness and the importance of doing good deeds for others.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.

INTRODUCING THE STORY


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


Before reading the story, show the first two pages of the book to your students and ask them to describe what they see and how the stark, snowy, black and white pictures of the town make them feel.  Record and save their answers on chart paper so that you can compare the list of reactions you will ask them to brainstorm at the end of the story.  Do NOT take them on a picture walk!  If you preview the pages and ask for predictions, the SURPRISES in the story will be ruined! :)



This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


Next, either show your class a box or bin full of yarn skeins that you have gathered, or display the picture that I have included in my complimentary resource.  Ask them to make predictions about what Annabelle might do with the box of yarn she finds.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


Once they have made a variety of predictions, ask your students to help you create a schema web that charts their background knowledge about yarn--what text-to-self and text-to-world connections they have about the topic.  Afterwards, show them either real knitting needles and yarn or the picture of the colorful skeins  and knitting hands that are included in my free resource.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


Set a purpose for reading by asking your students to pay close attention to how the choices Annabelle makes effect and change the rest of the people and places in the town where she lives.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.

SHARING THE STORY

As you read Extra Yarn,  ask your students to notice the difference between Annabelle and the people and animals she meets throughout the story.  Stop the story after reading every few pages to guide the discussion with the following talking points and questions:

*Guide them in noticing how--despite the negative attitudes and responses to her knitting efforts from the townspeople--Annabelle maintains a positive attitude.
  
*Talk about her growth mindset and problem-solving skills.  

*Discuss how she is always thinking of the welfare of others and not herself.

*Brainstorm ways Annabelle could choose to react selfishly instead of kindly toward others.

EXTENDING THE STORY

As the story draws to a close, Annabelle is faced with a hard decision.  An evil Archduke comes to town and wants to buy her magical box of endless yarn, but she refuses.  The tone and illustrations of the story take a dark turn when this happens, and provide a great opportunity for your students to discuss why Annabelle will not sell her yarn, and why the Archduke steals it from her.  Creating a thinking charts to compare and contrast the character traits of  Annabelle and the Archduke will help them list, analyze, and understand the choices each character makes and what motivates them.  Character trait thinking charts will help them identify, discuss, and write about their understanding of the story theme.  They will also help your students determine why the yarn box is always full for Annabelle, but comes up empty for the Archduke. Some samples from my classroom lessons are pictured below.  I simply use my dry erase board or chart paper to record student ideas.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.

USING MY FREE RESOURCE

I hope that your students enjoy the discussions about the theme of kindness that this mentor text sparks, and find this FREE RESOURCE useful when brainstorming, making predictions, charting character traits, and writing about the theme of Extra Yarn.  You can download it from my TpT store {HERE}.  Thank you in advance for leaving thoughtful feedback!  


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


Also, I would LOVE for you to leave a comment below about other mentor texts you use to teach theme or promote kindness in your classroom!  I am always looking to expand my book collection!

CHECK OUT MORE GREAT RESOURCES, SHOP OUR HASHTAG SALE,  
AND ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY!


Be sure that you follow the links below to find more free resources to help you use mentor texts to launch wonderful winter lessons!  Do not forget to enter our giveaway as well to win ALL of the books featured in this blog hop!  Our winner will be announced on February 12th! 

This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.




The Reading Crew is also hosting a hashtag sale from Friday, Feb. 5th through Sunday, Feb. 7th! If you search #readingcrewdeals2021 on Teachers Pay Teachers you will find great literacy resources for 50% off!  

You will find this thematic Seasonal Poetry Bundle in my shop!  It includes four weeks of fun learning activities and original poems designed to build fluency, rhyming, and comprehension skills!  Your students will love reading about snow, mittens, dogs, and leprechauns!


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


This Kind Kids Kit is also half-price through the weekend, and is designed to provide ways for your students to show appreciation for the people they are thankful for, build classroom community, and promote friendship!  It includes writing activities, a craft, and Friendship Bingo game that make a great follow-up to your Extra Yarn lesson!



This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


I hope this Extra Yarn mentor text lesson about teaching the theme of covering our world and the people in it with kindness warms your heart and the hearts of your students.  May they learn what Annabelle and her endless box of yarn teaches us about the importance of always doing what is EXTRA instead of what is EXPECTED.   May their own acts of kindness help stitch closer connections between the people in their lives, bring positive change, and spread happiness to others!  May they always strive to be EXTRAORDINARY......just like Annabelle!


This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.



PIN FOR LATER
This mentor text post includes ideas and activities on how to use Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to teach the theme of kindness to primary grade students.


Thanks so much for continuing to share my story! Every time I read this book and teach this lesson, I am reminded of my Grandma Mollie.  She taught me to knit and crochet when I was twelve, and was known for her own endless box of yarn.  She made hats, slippers, afghans, baby blankets and more for all of her children and grandchildren, and will forever be remembered for keeping my family warm with her kindness and creations!  Every time I pick up my own knitting needles or crochet hook, I think of her.  Walking through the yarn aisle at the craft store brings back a flood of happy memories.

Keep a song in your heart, craft your own brand of kindness, and continue to teach your children well.

Warm Regards,





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Do not miss this post from Jessica from Mrs. Perez Teacher Tools about story mapping using 
the  mentor text, Joseph Had A Little Overcoat!









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