mentor text monday

happy summer!

it's been a busy few weeks and we are excited to back to blogging.  we recently went to a teacher college writing institute and it was amazing! we learned so much from the TC staff developers, rebecca cronin and casey maxwell.

each week we hope to share some tiny tips!
black out by john rocco

 on thursday afternoon, we took a great workshop about mentor text. rebecca had the audience help her mine a mentor text (digging into and looking for something significant). you probably have heard some of these tips, but we think they are worth repeating (it was helpful for us to hear them again).

 tips when choosing a mentor text:
  • select a book you love
  • select a book that has clear examples of what you are teaching
  • select a book higher that what your kids could write
  • select a book that has many teaching possibilities 
more tips from rebecca:
  • read first for enjoyment and comprehension
  • you should read your mentor text MANY times and the kids should be excited to hear it (one staff developer said it could be read seven times)
  • reread, go back to explore and chart
  • teach using chart in writers workshop  
  • you may use the language from the unit or have your class name and notice
below is our first attempt at mining a mentor text (some parts of this story):

we think this is a great book to use for an illustration study and narrative small moments. 

we could also notice the CAPITAL letters.
kids often shout out ... dot, dot, dot.
we know little kids love ellipses.
there are a few examples in this story.
we think the use of color would be important to talk about. 
how does this page make us feel? 
there are a few examples of interesting words used.

the characters are brought to life by a strong feelings, actions and talking.
how do we know how they are feeling?
click... sound word

we LOVED the idea of marking the mentor text with post-its and adding it to your toolkit for conferring.  this book could also be added to a special basket so students have access to it.

thank you rebecca and casey for all of your terrific tips! 

we would love to hear from you, what are some of your favorite mentor text to use in the classroom for narrative writing?

happy teaching!

melissa & laura & jess

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