Personal Narrative Mentor Text- Telling in Small Steps!

Hi everyone! Today I'm checking in with Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for my favorite linky party, Must Read Mentor Texts! I always get great tips and book suggestions from this link-up. I'm here to share the book I used for teaching and revising personal narratives... and more!
Now, I must confess that I can't take credit for discovering this gem of a book; it was part of the NEW Lucy Calkins Units of Study for First Grade. If you follow my blog, you know I love teaching writing workshop and I'm a Lucy fan. Her Units are my primary resource because the work with kids!

But have no fear, even if you don't have the new Lucy Units, you can still grab this book from Amazon and start teaching! Night of the Veggie Monster is a true "mentor text" as you can use it to teach multiple concepts and skills- I think it's more helpful for kids to stick with one text for a while so they can really get familiar and "know" the book. This allows them to deepen their understandings each time you read it or refer to it in your teaching.

About the story... George Clements tells a funny tale of how a little boy's parents make him eat his vegetables at dinner, which turns the boy into a "veggie monster" who squirms and convulses, ready to throw chairs and tip the table...until he swallows those dreaded peas! It's a superlative example of how to stretch out the moment by telling it in itsy-bitsy steps (thus the spider on my anchor chart card!)
Click HERE for my post about this anchor chart!
Clements draws the reader in by telling this very focused small moment story across the pages. He also employs various text features to make the story even more engaging- an excellent model for young authors!

Here's a peak inside...
Text features: all capitals, bold print, speech bubbles, facial expression!
With all of these features, Night of the Veggie Monster is also a model for teaching voice if you follow the 6+1 Traits model. I also have used this book for teaching fluency- rate, expression, following punctuation marks. Really, there are so many language arts lesson possibilities here!

I hope you found this book suggestion helpful! Be sure to check out the Must Read Mentor Text linky for other ideas for language arts.

What mentor texts do you use for teaching personal narratives?

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature photo ScreenShot2013-04-26at54143PM.png


  1. This book looks great. I just love the facial expressions in that illustration.

    I agree with you about Lucy. She is awesome. I use many of her intermediate lessons in my classroom.

    Thank you, and have a great week!

    Fit to be Fourth
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  2. Just discovered this book myself! It's so cute. Love your anchor chart.

    Compassionate Teacher

  3. OMG Karli! This book looks and sounds perfect for zooming in on a moment! Do you think it would be appropriate for fourth graders?
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

    1. Absolutely! Fourth graders will appreciate the humor and voice way more than my firsties did. They will even pick up on the parents sarcasm- like in the photo I included :)

  4. This looks like a great book. I'm going to check and see if I can grab a copy at my library!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  5. Oh wow! This looks great! I've never seen this book either, but you are write! There are a lot of text features!

    We use the Lucy Calkins writing kits too! But we didn't get the books with them. This looks like it would be cute for 4th graders too! Thanks so much for linking up!!

    Have a great week!
    Collaboration Cuties

    1. Hi Amanda! My principal ordered for us, but I think you have to buy the mentor text pack in addition to the unit books, just FYI. That's probably why you don't have it.

  6. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I use 6 Trait as well. This sounds like a great book and lesson.
    Have a great week.

    School Is a Happy Place

  7. I am ordering this today, so I will have it for my next year in FIRST GRADE!!!! Thanks for sharing all the great ways to implement Lucy AND the Traits!!! Well-Done.


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