Sunday, April 3, 2016

Naked Mole Rat 
Gets Dressed
By Mo Willems
Published 2009

Awards/Recognition: Gold Medal-Parents’ Choice Award Spring 2009 Picture Books; Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Book (2009); Black-Eyed Susan Book Awards - Picture Books 2011

So-when I was shelving Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed in the library the other day—I stopped and thought:

"What a GREAT mentor text to use in a writing workshop minilesson to model ‘writing a strong/ catchy title to grab the interest of your audience!!!”  

I mean—isn’t it??? 

Yes—students usually give a big chuckle with the word ‘naked’ (or ‘underwear’)……AND you might run the risk of students coming up with some titles of their own that may need to be dialed back a bit, but Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed  is a strong mentor to clearly demonstrate this important writing strategy to students.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed  also has a good amount of dialogue written in a simple, visual way that makes it also a good mentor when introducing dialogue and the correct use/placement of quotation marks.

In reality, the naked mole rat is an intriguing animal from East Africa with some fascinating adaptations to research, if students’ interest go in that direction after reading this book. 

Book Talk
Wilbur is a naked mole rat who loved to get dressed! The other naked mole rats were shocked when they see Wilbur, but Wilbur tried to politely explain how much he enjoys dressing up and pretending different personas.

Some favorite lines:
“I like clothes,” replied Wilbur. “When I get dressed I can be….fancy, or funny, or cool, or I can just be an astronaut.” (Mo Willems’  illustrations are perfect!)
When the others heard that, they said:
“If you like clothes so much, they why don’t you open a store or something?!”

Wilbur thought that was a wonderful idea and indeed opened a clothing store—but alas, he did not see much business!

When the others in the naked mole rat colony approached Wilbur again and told him bluntly that naked mole rats do NOT wear clothes—Wilbur simply responded by saying, “Why not?”

The other naked mole rats then went to Grand-pah for advise on what to do about Wilbur. Grand-pay was the oldest, wisest and most naked naked mole rat that ever- so the perfect naked mole rat to give advise!

The colony told Grand-pah all of their concerns about Wilbur.  Grand-pah left to think very deeply about the problem.

When Grand-pah returned, he shocked the colony by being completely dressed! He makes this proclamation:
“Fellow naked mole rats! I have never worn clothes until I heard Wilbur’s simple questions: Why not?
“Why not, indeed? Do clothes hurt anyone? No.”

Wilbur ran to get dressed up and so did some of the other naked mole rats! And from there on out—Wilbur’s clothes store flourished!

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Animal Fantasy
Reading Workshop Strategies: Fluency, Connecting, Inferring, Summarizing
Writing Workshop Strategies: Strong leads/ titles, Grammar-dialogue, Fantasy Writing

Mo Willems' website

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