Every Living Thing

When I needed a thought-provoking story to really spark my students to write, I chose a short story from Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant.

This is a collection of twelve short stories that are perfectly suited for the first few minutes of a writing session in the classroom.  They are all powerful stories describing how lives were changed by an encounter with an animal. 

Though they are written for ages 10 and up, I chose several of them to share with third graders. 

Even if you teach younger students, you should read this one for your own writing inspiration. 

I would also recommend these other pet themed books by Cynthia Rylant:

The Old Woman Who Named Things

Henry and Mudge (an easy reader series)

Mr. Putter and Tabby (an easy reader series)

Gooseberry Park (chapter book)


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