March Madness is a BIG deal in our household between the love for basketball between my husband and our three sons! So naturally, I have gotten really into it as well over the years and began to love sharing the excitement with my students, too! These 10 mentor texts have always helped me create a March Madness theme in my classroom, so I wanted to pass along my book recommendations, a breakdown of their ELA skills, and the strategies I teach through them. I use the first 6 books as whole group lessons, one for each day of the week (2 on Monday), and then use the last section in small groups.
I like to teach these two books together to focus on comparing texts with similar themes (confidence, overcoming a “shadow”). They also work well to teach about the author’s voice, poetry structure, and a grammar unit on comparative/superlative adjectives.
This nonfiction story is a great way to incorporate a cross-curricular math activity with nonfiction text structure and text features.
There are so many ways to incorporate this book into your ELA lessons, but here are a few I like to focus on: narrative nonfiction, identifying and describing the main characters, identifying the problem and solution, comparative/superlative adjectives, and an on-demand narrative writing piece for a real life experience.
This is a popular book at home and in the classroom as it’s about Michael Jordan and his perseverance to make his dreams come true. I continue focusing on narrative nonfiction with this book as well as identifying point of view, describing the main characters, problem and solution identification, and comparative/superlative adjectives.
As an alphabet book, this one can be used for so many different ages. I use this book as a writing topic for my students to write about the “ABC’s of…” anything they choose! I also use it to teach figurative language and comparative/superlative adjectives
Small Group Texts
These mentor texts I typically use in small groups throughout our March Madness week. I use them to teach nonfiction text features and text structure, inferring, comparing themes, comparing characters, fluency, and word study (word parts, phonics).