Mentor Text Review: Counting on Frank

  • Author and illustrator: Rod Clement
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Counting on Frank, by Rod Clement, is a hilarious story about a boy who makes the most of his maths-focused brain. He highlights all the maths around him- things the untrained eye would not normally see and is ultimately rewarded for his obsession.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

Teachers often find it hard to teach the writing trait of VOICE. Rod Clement’s book ‘Counting on Frank’ is a great mentor text to help students see and hear how voice looks and sounds in a well written text. The main character in this text is a quirky character with a very dry sense of humour. His personality comes through in the writing very clearly.

This text is also great for looking at the trait of IDEAS. The main idea of the text is something all children could write about- something they are good at.

The WORD CHOICE in this book is also worth looking at, it really makes the voice and character’s personality shine through in the writing. (E.g. “I calculate it would take…” rather than “I think it would take..”)

Finally, the rounded story structure would be great to model ORGANISATION to students.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

INFERRING- discuss the main character. What do you know about him? What type of personality does he have? How do you know? (provide evidence from the text- eg. He has the same breakfast everyone morning, therefore he likes routine).

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Talk about how the characters are similar or different to you and your family. What connections can you make? Have you read any other texts with characters similar to this book?

QUESTIONING- What questions pop up for you as you are reading this book? What questions do you have after reading it? Why do you think the author wrote this book?

SUMMARISING: Give a short summary of what happened in the book. What were the important points?

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