Growing Readers and Writers by Teaching with Mentor Texts

I am so excited to join my friends at The Reading Crew for another fun Mentor Text Linky Hop. 25 of us have gotten together to bring you many different books and lessons to enhance literacy instruction.

This time of year many different animals are all around, and children LOVE to read and learn about different animals. A few months ago, Scholastic had a set of Who Would Win books, and I knew my students would not be able to put them down.

I chose these books to use for several different reasons. My biggest reason was engagement. Kids love these books, and I wish you could have all seen how their faces lit up when I took them out.  They loved that they could choose their own books too. The books include facts about two different animals or insects that are similar in some ways yet different in others. The book compares and contrasts them beautifully with many pictures and text features. At the end, Pallotta pits the two animals against each other and tells who he thinks would win and how.  How fun!

We spent some time talking about comparing and contrasting regular items and pictures. I then allowed the students to choose a book from my selection to read. They read the book, all the while discussing their own books. I let the conversations roll because I knew the reading was authentic!

After reading the book, each student filled out the chart, showing how the two creatures were alike and different. Each opposite square had to match {has a stinger---uses teeth}. This was a challenge, but they finally caught on after a few attempts.

The best part about these books is that the other creature could win. In my pack is a page where students can focus on certain parts of the creatures to write how the other creature would win. Here are some examples of my students' work.

Students could also research two different animals and write their own "Who Would Win" type of essay.

You can grab my Who Would Win activities by clicking here or on the picture below:


  1. Such a great post, Andrea! I need to grab some of those is always so hard to find books to engage reluctant readers but these would do the trick! Thanks for sharing :)
    The Techie Teacher

    1. The kids loved them! I thought only the boys would really enjoy them, but the girls really had fun reading them too! Scholastic has the best prices on them that I have found.

  2. I am excited to explore this series. It"s new to me, and how great to have materials to go with it. Thanks so much for joining in, especially with so much going on.


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