Over and Under the Pond: Life Science Integration Mentor Text Unit – Grades 1-2


* Open the preview for more details! *


Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner is the perfect book to show students a pond ecosystem, and all the organisms that depend on each other. If you don’t own a copy of the book, check your local library or you might even find an online read-aloud of the text with a simple Google search!

Using mentor texts is one of the best ways to maximize your teaching time. You are able to teach multiple skills, subjects, and topics with just one book!

With this unit, you’ll be able to integrate science into language arts while also doing some shared research, looking at the text AND pictures to learn, describing scientific connections, and writing with vivid verbs and prepositions!


  • a week of plans that integrate life science, provide shared research opportunities using the text and pictures, describe scientific connections, teach prepositions, and review vivid verbs using the book, Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner (book not included)
  • detailed explicit lessons, including teacher samples
  • a week-at-a-glance plan
  • digitally converted activities in Google Slides, when applicable
  • mentor sentence lesson teaching prepositions in first grade AND second grade formats (choose one version, or use both for differentiation!)
  • reading lessons to describe scientific connections and use text and illustrations to identify key details
  • writing lessons to teach shared research
  • integration with life science: pond ecosystem and classifying animals
  • pond ecosystem poster
  • one original nonfiction article about Beavers for independent research practice
  • samples for models or teacher reference
  • printables for skill practice, with two versions when necessary for a lower level of the standards
  • short assessments

You will notice that the units align in best practices with my other resources, so if you are already using other components from the First Grade Mentor Text Curriculum or the Second Grade Mentor Text Curriculum, they can easily be incorporated into your plans without breaking stride.

Check out the detailed preview to see inside this unit!



This unit is part of the PRIMARY version of the Mentor Text Club (previously, only available for grades 3-5).

When you make the one-time purchase of the club bundle, you’ll receive twelve weeklong mentor text units with integrated grammar, reading, and writing lessons, one of which is an exclusive bonus unit not available for sale. That’s 12 weeks of COMPLETE lessons that you will be able to use now, and in years to come!

Every unit in the Mentor Text Club has a week of grammar, reading, and writing plans that also integrate other subjects when applicable (science, social studies, or social/emotional skills) with detailed explicit lessons, teacher samples, printables for skill practice, and short assessments.


Please remember, this purchase is for the use of one teacher. It is not intended to be shared. Please use the ‘additional license’ purchase if more than one teacher will be using it. Thank you!

*The mentor sentence lessons I have created are adapted from the ideas of Jeff Anderson. These lessons were born from the routine that worked well in my classroom, and the demos and examples I present are variations of Jeff Anderson’s methods. This is not the only way to “do” mentor sentences in your classroom.*

Copyright © 2022 Ideas By Jivey, LLC
All rights reserved by author, Jessica Ivey-Smith.
Permission to copy for single classroom use only.
Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only.
Not for public display.

Leave feedback to earn credits for future purchases! Become a follower to receive updates about future units as well!

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab