March 30, 2013

Must Read Mentor Texts Linky--Ugly Fish

I love finding new books to read and purchase for my classroom! Amanda and Stacia of Collaboration Cuties are having their first ever linky party on mentor texts. I'm so excited to join them!

My Mentor Text: Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau
Ugly Fish is about a fish that is mean to other fish introduced to his tank--he chases them, refuses to share his tank with them, and eventually eats them. Ugly Fish realizes that he's lonely and wants to share his tank with others. However, a new fish is introduced to the tank and treats Ugly Fish the same way he treated the other fish.

I love this book because it shows bullying in its simplest form--how being mean to others leaves the bully with feelings of loneliness and remorse. I read this book to 4th and 5th graders--usually really slowly so they can predict what happens to the little fish introduced to the tank. The text is simply written and the illustrations are entertaining, so even the youngest of readers can understand what's happening.

After reading, I ask: "Why did I read this to you?" They discuss the possible reasons and we have a deep conversation about the book and bullying and how to treat others. (The students really facilitate their own discussion off of the book--adding on and supporting their thinking. I merely jump in every once in a while and ask questions based on their remarks and to bring the discussion back to the book.)

This year, since my curriculum revolves around Social Studies, I find it difficult to bring back literature, such as Ugly Fish, because it doesn't fit in with the SS topics. I do have about 20 minutes in the morning for Positive Discipline, which is where I'm going to add my favorite read alouds to teach different themes and issues. Here's an activity using Ugly Fish  I'm going to try with my students when we get back from Spring Break:
To get this freebie, click HERE

What are some books you love that teach themes and issues? Link up with Collaboration Cuties  :)


  1. I love how this book ends - my class was so suprised! Thanks for the teaching suggestions and freebies.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

    1. I love the ending too--it really gets the kids thinking...after they get over the initial shock! haha


  2. Aww, I'm so excited you linked up!!

    I have not heard about this book!! We were thinking alike with the fish books! ;O)

    I am going to have to get this book ASAP because I just found out some bullying was going on in my room with some girls and I had no idea! It makes me so sad!!

    Thank you for the freebie!!! This is great!

    I know you said you only do SS (are you compartmentalized?) but I hope you can link up more with us!!

    Have a great weekend!
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. What a great Linky party idea, to share mentor texts--thanks so much for posting it! I'm going to check it out. And your freebie is really well done. I LOVE the colors of your blog! :)
    Stacey Colegrove

    1. Hi Stacey!
      Thank you for stopping by :)I'm a bit obsessed with the color scheme yellow and gray, even my school bag and lunch bag are yellow and gray! haha


  4. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a good one for our first graders too!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. I used Do Unto Otters at the beginning of the year and based our classroom rules off it, and I also like Wings to teach community building.

    Everyone deServes to Learn