Nov 27

Winter Mentor Texts


Hello and welcome to our second annual Winter Wonderland link up!  Last year, The Reading Crew sponsored a winter literacy hop, but we decided to run it a little different this time. Instead of hopping with the potential of dead links, we decided on a closed link up. What this means is that there is a “map” of the blogs at the bottom of each post, so you can hop through them all at once, visit some today and some later in the week, or see what best matches your literacy needs.


On each blog, you will see a word in blue font. This is the blog’s mystery word. Please be sure to record them because you will need each word for a five point entry in our raffle. To help you keep track, you can print and use this form. We are raffling off two wonderful prizes. We are giving away a copy of each book featured in our posts to two winners (K-2 group) and the (3-up group). Each prize package will include 12 books (K-2) and 13 books (3-up).


On each blog, we will be sharing a mentor text lesson using the book we’ve chosen. The lesson will be modeling a reading skill (comprehension or writing typically, but some at the primary level may target vocabulary, fluency, or word building).  The materials that are shared may be forever freebies or may be free for a limited time. Please take note of this as you visit the blogs.


Again, we welcome you to our blogs and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.


Stone Fox ~ Free Character Traits Printables ~~ These are great for interactive notebooks.


Grandfather will not get out of bed although Doc Smith says nothing is wrong with him. Little Willy takes over Grandfather’s duties and harvests the potato crop. He thinks everything will be fine, until Clifford Snyder comes to collect $500 in back taxes. In his desperation little Willy decides to enter the adult dog sled race. Will he be able to win the prize money he needs to save the farm? Read Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner to learn of little Willy’s fate.

Three Free Printable Character Traits Mini-Books to use when reading Stone FoxEach of these mini-books are created from a single piece of paper, folded to form a book. The finished books contain six pages where students can list character traits for the main characters. Just click on the image below to download the free printables for this activity. An answer key is included to make this activity a print and go project.

Free Character Traits Mini-Books to use when reading Stone Fox


Vocabulary Terms used with the Mini-Books


You might think that using the word “Antagonists” as a title for one of the books is a little advanced for the third/forth graders who read Stone Fox. Our school is extremely big on using appropriate terms, so I decided to give using the word “antagonists” a try instead of using a title such as “Bad Guys.” Here is the anchor chart I used to teach these terms.

Protagonist vs. Antagonist Anchor ChartIn our interactive notebooks, students wrote the definitions and drew illustrations for both a protagonist and an antagonist. On the adjacent page in their notebooks, students glued their three completed “Character Traits” mini-books. Here are a few examples of the completed pages.

Antagonist vs. Protagonist Even though I stressed that the protagonist is the main character with traits that can be considered both good or bad, students at this level, really related the villain/hero concept. The notebook below is a perfect example of how students at this level understood the concepts.
Antagonist vs. Protagonist

The character traits mini books will be a forever free product. If you need additional resources for Stone Fox, you can find a few free resources on my website.  I also have a full novel study that can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Simply click on the image below to download the Winter Mentor Text Blog Hop Tracking Form.
Winter Mentor Text Blog Hop Tracking Form
Before you go, I will remind you that my mystery word is sled. You can enter it onto your sheet or into the rafflecopter below. Good luck to you, and I hope you’ll come back soon.



Gay Miller







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  1. Lisa

    Stone Fox is one of my favorite stories! Thanks for sharing such a great resource to use along with it!

  2. Jana

    I love the anchor chart to introduce protagonist and antagonist!

  3. Jessica Goodrow

    Love the little books and the way you connect the vocabulary to characters the students are familiar with.

    Literacy Spark

  4. Jenn

    I love your freebie! This is such a great book – although I still cry every time I read it!

  5. Not JANE

    What an awesome anchor chart example! This is very cool!

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