Mentor Text Review: The Penguins Are Coming

The writing traits mentor text
  • Author: Meg McKinlay
  • llustrator: Mark Jackson
  • Publisher: Walker Books Australia

The Penguins Are Coming by Meg McKinlay and Mark Jackson, is a funny and fascinating twist on an information text. It’s based on a group of zoo animals sharing their ‘knowledge’ about penguins (who will soon be joining them in the zoo). Luckily, the zookeeper actually knows what he is talking

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

IDEAS and ORGANISATION: This would be great for exploring information writing. Students could write down facts about an animal and then craft non- facts to create a similar structure to this text (eg. In the story the pelican tells everyone that penguins don’t like swimming in cold water. Eventually, the zookeeper sets everyone straight with the real facts).

VOICE: You can hear the voice of the animals in this text- how does each animal differ?

Look at the sentence structure and WORD CHOICE and discuss who these create the different voices for each character.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

This book has lots of opportunity for INFERRING (about who is telling each ‘fact’ and what is actually going on in the story).

It would be a good text for SUMMARISING the key points to give someone else a synopsis of the story- what is this text mainly about? What are the important parts? This would be a great text for discussing author’s purpose. Why did they write this? What is their purpose? To entertain, inform or persuade? Or a combination? You could do a compare and contrast with this hybrid genre for informing the reader and a non-fiction text on penguins. What are the similarities and differences? What effect does it have on the reader?

Read my interview with author Meg McKinlay here

The original Writing Traits Masterclass Series course opens on July 1st!

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