Category Archive: mentor texts

Taking Biography to the Next Level: The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra + An Interview + A Giveaway

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If you aren’t familiar with this delightful biography of Sun Ra by Chris Raschka, you should be. Learn about the ways that this book is a perfect mentor text, and hear about the writing process from the author.

10 Math & Science Topic Choice Mentors + 10 Book Giveaways

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Do you have students who are interested in math and science, but claim they hate writing or don’t know what to write about in their writer’s notebooks? Here are 10 newer picture books to inspire them to write about their passion.

Curating Mentor Text Collections

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Get started organizing your mentor texts with four digital tools.

Demonstration Texts, Part Deux

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Thinking about your demonstration texts this way can give you some inspiration for multiple ways to teach the same minilesson, to the whole class, or to small groups as follow-up.

Four Types of Demonstration Texts

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The way I felt about starting my first garden is probably how a lot of kids feel during writing workshop when we give mysterious directions to “add more detail” or “grab the reader’s interest.” The language many of us use during writing workshop probably makes perfect sense to adults–but for kids we need to be more explicit. Teaching just by telling is not enough.

I’m My Own Dog + A Giveaway

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This book will serve many purposes in your writing workshop, not the least of which is a good laugh. Comment on the post to enter the giveaway!

Notice & Note and Memoir: When Reading Workshop Meets Writing Workshop

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We were in the midst of a lively mentor text analysis of James Howe’s “Everything Will Be Okay” for our just-launched memoir unit.  I was thrilled to see my sixth graders making note… Continue reading

Work Smarter: Picture Books That Pack a Punch + Giveaways!

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What picture books pack a punch for you in the workshop? Here are seven titles that are sure to give you bang for your buck.

Two New Mentor Texts I Adore + Book Giveaways

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I’ve always been a diary and letter person.  I have loads of journals from my childhood and post-college years.  To this day, I relish letters I saved from my childhood since they’re a… Continue reading

Oral Mentor Texts + a Giveaway!

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Assuming that children understand the elements of a story is assuming too much. These elements must be taught if they are meant to be used in the writing process.

10 Topic Choice Mentor Texts + 10 Book Giveaways

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Do you have students who claim they don’t know what to write about in their writer’s notebooks? Here are 10 new picture books to inspire them to write.

Inquiry-Based Centers in Grades 3-8

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Inquiry-based centers introduce kids to mentor texts while helping them find their own mentor texts.

The Story of the Giant Sequoia + a Giveaway

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Tony Johnston and Wendell Minor’s new book, Sequoia, will be published later this month. Recently, both of them were gracious with their time and granted me interviews. Hear what they have to say about writing and illustrating. Get a sneak peek at this exquisite text you can use to infuse your students’ informational writing with poetry.

5 Ideas to Create a Classroom of Writers

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How do you help your students establish their identity as writers?

Reading Fuels Writing

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Need some inspiration to write? Fall into a great book and read like a writer!

A Picture Book That Pushes the Growth Mindset

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The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires will help you to initiate a conversation with about the importance of possessing a growth mindset. It’s also a fantastic mentor text for writing workshop!

Five on Friday: Travel Edition

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A recent visit to San Francisco inspired me to think about oral story telling, publishing, an persuasive writing. Here are five things my trip left me thinking about. PLUS, leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of a new picture book from Chronicle Books.

Five on Friday: Picture Books Edition

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Find out which five, NEW picture books I’m fawning over this Friday.

First Graders Get Crafty

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First graders use a mentor text to get crafty during a unit on informational writing.

The Meaning of Maggie Book Review + Win a Copy of a Fabulous Read

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Soon-to-be-released The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern is a lovely book that offers plenty of opportunities to study high-level character development.