I was so excited when author Rolanda Hasten reached out to me about creating some companion activities for her book A Day at the Beach. The book provides great examples of onomatopoeias along with rich text about the beauty of a day at the beach. It’s a must-have for your classroom library and I’m excited to share about it!
What are Mentor Texts?
Mentor texts are simply text that we use to provide our students with a good example of a skill, and this case, writing. Students can use the mentor text as an example as they practice applying a particular skill in their own writing. When teaching about onomatopoeia, A Day at the Beach is a great example of a mentor text. It provides obvious examples of onomatopoeias enriching the text and creating a more interesting story for the reader.
How to Use a Mentor Text
A mentor text is used to show students an example of a skill yose a mentor text at the beginning of your lesson. Here’s an example of how to use A Day at the Beach as a mentor text for teaching about onomatopoeia.
- Introduce the book and author.
- Read through the book one time, skipping the onomatopoeia pages.
- Tell students to listen as you read the book one more time.
- Read the book with the onomatopoeia pages.
- Discuss with your students – which version was more interesting?
- Introduce the term onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeias are sound words that writers can use to make a story more interesting!
- Optional: Read the story one more time. Point out the first onomatopoeia, and then have students touch their nose, hold up a finger, or do another action when they hear another onomatopoeia.
Teacher Tip: When using a mentor text, you want to tell students exactly what you want them to notice. For example, when you’re teaching about onomatopoeias, be sure to say, “This is an onomatopoeia.” Point out how they make the story more interesting to the reader!
Checking for Understanding
After reading the mentor text, you can check for student understanding about onomatopoeias in several ways. For example, you can read sentences from the book or say sentences of your own and ask for students to tell you an onomatopoeia that would go with the sentence. You can follow up with a quick cut and sort page such as the one below.
Moving into Student Writing
After introducing onomatopoeias, let your students practice writing with onomatopoeias! Reread the mentor text and revisit what you talked about as a whole group, such as that onomatopoeias are sound words and authors use them to make text more interesting.
Teacher Tip: Reread mentor texts! Since you’re using them as an important example for your students, be sure to revisit them. In this case, students will be practicing using onomatopoeia in their own writing. Since you’ve already established prior experience with the story, it’s important to revisit it during the day(s) following your initial lesson.
I like to provide a template for brainstorming, such as the one shown below.
Once students have brainstormed onomatopoeias for their story, they can use the template to start writing.
More Ways to Practice Onomatopoeia
Another fun activity for A Day at the Beach is this Beach Bucket craftivity! Students will write sounds that they might hear at the beach on the seashells. Then they can color, cut out, and glue the shells onto the bucket. These would look so cute on a bulletin board, too!
Onomatopoeia Memory Game
Here’s a fun partner activity! Just print the pages, cut out the cards, and you’re done! Students will turn over two cards and try to find the picture and onomatopoeia pairs.
These are the perfect addition to learning centers! Just print on cardstock, laminate if desired, cut out, and add to your center.
Onomatopoeia Writing Pages
These can be used in a bunch of different ways! Students will add an onomatopoeia to the picture, add any details or color, and write about the picture.
If you’re interested in using these activities with your students, click here or on the image below to grab them from my TpT store!
Happy reading! If you use these activities, please tag me on Instagram (@kroltgen) so I can see!