The work of Elfrieda (Freddy) Hiebert, professor and founder of textproject.org, explains further that “lists do not help our kids retain or expand their word knowledge. Students need networks of words that are grounded in ideas.”
Today is a Voices From the Community post, written by Logan Beth Fisher. She writes, “Writing workshop is the perfect time of the day in which to create opportunities for students to truly do a deep dive into their identities. The more chances a child has to examine the things that make them who they are, the greater the chance that they will broaden their capacity to generate ideas in which to write. Like any other good writing unit, educators can rely on mentor texts to help model not only the craft of writing but will also offer ways in which students can consider their own identities based on the theme or subject of the text.”
While books about oppression, struggle, and suffering are of critical importance to read and discuss with children, so are books about Black joy and about the daily lives of Black children. I’ve curated a list of ten new (i.e., published in 2019 and 2020) texts that focus on Black people living life. Depending on who your students are, these books could serve as mirrors, windows, and/or sliding glass doors.
As the 2020-2021 school year sets to start, we recognize that educators need each other more than ever. We need to hold onto our beliefs about the teaching of writing … Continue Reading Inviting Voices from the Community
Have you been a reader of our annual Author Spotlight Series? How have you used these posts to inspire your teaching? Read on to find a collection of the Author Spotlight posts and ideas for using these treasures with your students.
The idea of creating anything at all that motivates children to continue learning and developing themselves as writers has kept me awake over the last few nights. And after a … Continue Reading Some Summer Writing Motivation
Kaia and the Bees is a picture book you can use as a mentor text in narrative writing units. The book contains many craft moves, which makes it perfect for using in minilessons, writing conferences, and strategy lessons. Learn more about the book and take a peek inside of it.
Here’s an idea for using art to inspire students who are reluctant to use mentor texts. After all, creating something beautiful — inspired by someone else’s work — is something artists, and writers, often do.
Prepare yourself for some exquisite words to get your writing week off to a wonderful start.
Reading Ralph Fletcher’s newest book, Focus Lessons, revealed memories of my childhood much the way photos can be revealed in a pan of solution. Slowly, vividly, and magically.
When it comes to writing, a need for writers to have a clear vision is one of the big reasons we provide mentor texts in writing workshop. Kids need to see not only a goal or end toward which they may aspire, but I would add that they need to be provided models to become inspired. For we all know the effect inspiration can have on anything we are up to in life, right? It matters. It helps. And certainly, writing is no exception. Read on to learn about why making a big deal of publishing informational writing is worth considering…
I’ve found a hybrid mentor text that will inspire young writers and budding activists.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Scot Ritchie’s new book, Join the No-Plastic Challenge.
Just as we reflect our teaching practices in the summertime, we can rethink some of the mentor texts we use and find new ones to share with students in minilessons, writing conferences, and strategy lessons.
Using a mentor text can be a little like taking a course from a published writer- we can allow him or her to teach us how to be stronger writers. This can certainly happen with our drafts… but we can also do this work in our notebooks. Oftentimes, doing so can free young writers up to do larger-scale revision. Here’s one way I tried that…
If we’re committed to differentiating instruction, then it’s important to use a variety of mentor texts to meet students’ needs.
The time investment you will spend in immersion may seem like a lot – especially if you’re providing students with four days to understand a genre. However, students will gain a greater understanding of the kind of writing you are asking them to produce if they have a clear vision for what the end product should look like.
We can have a positive impact on children’s reading lives when we attempt to make sure every child’s life is reflected in books AND that every child can understand the experiences of other people by reading books. By doing this, we not only positively impact our students, but we improve our society as a whole.
Consider sharing these six books with your fact-loving students.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win all six books for your classroom library.
Linda Rief has collected a treasure of mentor texts and created a guide to encourage you to find your own treasures! Start here, get inspired, and then see what you find when you start looking. It can be as small or big as you want when you begin and Linda gives us all the right tools to get started.
While we have to ask ourselves questions about where books fit into our curriculum and how books support mindsets, now, more than ever, we should be asking how the books we use promote social justice and cultural awareness. These questions do not apply only to the books we offer students to read, but also the books we use to teach students to write.