Plaza Famila

Fourth Grade: Writing about Settings Using Mentor Texts

Father Reading To Daughter
Written by Heather

Standard 4.W.4:  Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

Materials:  “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett book

Pieces of lined and un-lined paper (for writing and illustrations)

Story Map:


Practice:  Tell your child you will be reading, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” with him/her.  Inform him/her that your focus while reading this book will be on the setting and how the setting changes due to the weather conditions.  Tell them that when you are done reading this book, he/she is going to work on writing your own version of the story using 3 different meals for weather conditions depending on the type of day.  So, if it is morning, it will rain some sort of breakfast food.  For example, “I looked out the window and saw strawberry jam clouds forming.  Suddenly, pieces of toast started falling from the sky!”  He/she will be writing and illustrating this story so pay close attention to how this author changed the settings due to the changing weather conditions!

When you are done reading, give your child the following story map to help him/her plan the weather events that will happen during breakfast (first), lunch (second), and dinner (third).

Pre-approve the story map for clarity before your child starts working on his/her books and illustrations.

When your child has finished his/her story, check it over for clarity, spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Then, have him/her share it with the family before a meal!  Bon Apatite!



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About the author


Originally from Saratoga Springs, NY. Heather received my Bachelor's in Elementary Education PreK-6 from SUNY Plattsburgh and my Master's in Literacy Education from The College of Saint Rose. After completing graduate school, she accepted a job teaching at Wendell Creative Arts & Science Elementary School in Wake County, North Carolina. There, she taught fifth grade for three years and third grade for a year. Heather was also involved in after school tutoring and after school care where she worked with students K-5. Heather moved back to the area to be closer to my family as it expanded after my niece and nephew were born so that she could be a proud and active Aunt. She spent the 2010-2011 school year substituting in grades K-7 in Saratoga, Schuylerville, Greenwich, Glens Falls and Ballston Spa school districts. Heather is an Education Officer at Premier Transmedia and now a writer for Plaza Familia!