Mentor Text Review: Dry to Dry

6 traits in writing mentor text
  • Author: Pamela Freeman
  • llustrator: Liz Anelli
  • Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Dry to Dry: The Seasons of Kakadu by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli is a beautifully illustrated book that highlights the behaviours and changes of the flora and fauna throughout the different seasons experienced in Kakadu in the Northern Territory, Australia. 

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

IDEAS: This narrative non-fiction demonstrates Pamela Freeman’s ability to narrow her writing topic to be tight and manageable- she’s included just the right amount of detail and decided to keep her focus on some of the flora and fauna rather than included everything there is to tell about the seasons. Discuss with students- How might the author have decided what to include when she was talking about the seasons? How might she have decided which information should be left out? Or which information should be included in the narrative vs the non-fiction text on each page?

WORD CHOICE: is a strength in this text. Use this as a mentor text to study noun and adjective groups/phrases (e.g., the long-legged jabiru, a flock of little curlews, the plateau’s towering cliffs, warm summer rain).

SENTENCE FLUENCY: This would be a great text for learning about how to construct compound and complex sentences as well as vary sentence type and beginnings.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

DETERMINING IMPORTANCE: Students could discuss the key messages being shared in this text. Which details are important? Which ones are nice to know but not necessary?

INFERRING: Due to the rich use of figurative language there are many opportunities for students to draw inferences and discuss potential meanings (e.g., silver sheets of water spread, the chorus of frogs is deafening, mists blanket the wetlands). Plenty of word study-worthy tier 2 vocabularly is featured in this book and instruction in these will aide your students’ ability to draw inferences (e.g., stalks, pelting, thunderous, zip across, swiftly). These beautiful descriptions can also be used to help students VISUALISE the different seasons.

QUESTIONING: What other questions do you have about the seasons in Kakadu after reading this book? Where could you go to find out more information?