Sunday, October 6, 2013

Night in the Country and Sensory Words Freebie {Must Read Mentor Text}

Y'all know what Sunday means, Mentor Text linky time with Collaboration Cuties!! I'm still going through all the great books from last week's October/Halloween topic! 

Today I wanted to link up to share a book and a couple of lessons we used last week when discussing an author's use of sensory words. 

Our read aloud for this lesson was Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant. I just love her books and when I ran across this one I knew it would be the perfect one for teaching sensory words. While working on this post I even ran across this video of the book. 

As far as a summary goes, the title is pretty self explanatory. The author takes readers through the sights and sounds of a night in the country. 

Here are some of my favorite lines from the book: 

There is no night so dark, so black as night in the country. And while the people dream of daytime things, the nighttime world awakens. Owls swoop, a rabbit patters, and in the yard an apple falls --pump! -- from the tree. 

Before reading this book my students and I brainstormed a list of sensory words for Summer. We talked about all the 5 senses and about our favorite summertime activities. 

Next, we add this great FREE foldable, from The Teacher in Me, into our interactive notebooks. 

Then we headed outside for some inspiration on Fall sensory words. The first group I took out had that ideal crisp, Fall morning weather! Students worked on filling in their foldable with all their favorite things about fall. 

When we arrived back in the classroom we shared ideas with each other and worked on finalizing our lists with those great words that really appeal to a reader's senses. 

The 2nd day we started out our lesson by reading A Night in the Country and looking at how authors use sensory words to make their writing more interesting and to help us connect with the text. 

Then students tried their hand at writing using sensory words. I chose to have them write acrostic poems using the word Fall. Some students also branched out into other, longer words related to Fall. 

This was a very fun way to get the kids excited about their writing and reading! 

I did promise a freebie, so here it is. During the course of this lesson I had an idea - don't you just love when that happens?! Why couldn't that happen before I actually teach the lesson?! LOL 

I decided to create a web and focus on just one word from our lists. This way students had an opportunity to really flesh out their ideas around one topic. 

I did a web on the board about pumpkins and then they picked one word and drew their own webs in their notebooks. If you'd like to pick up a copy of this web for FREE you can click here or on the picture above. I even included a mini version with dotted lines to cut out and glue in an interactive notebook! 

What are your favorite activities and books to use in teaching sensory words? 


  1. I love this lesson. I am totally going to use this once it gets a little cooler here, it is hard to think about fall when the weather is 80+ degrees! Thanks so much for the freebie.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  2. What a great way to use this awesome book! Thank you for some new ideas to use with one of my favorite books.

    Fit to be Fourth
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  3. Thank you for including an interactive notebook sized template!

  4. Wow! You did so many great activities with this book! Looks like a beautiful book and very productive lessons!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

  5. This looks great! I love Cynthia Rylant as well, but I haven't seen this book! It looks like a great way to introduce sensory words and I know they had fun going outside to really get in touch with the senses!

    Thanks so much for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties


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