expository · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · nonfiction · nonfiction writing · picture book

The Joys of Sharing Expository Nonfiction Mentor Texts with Students + a Giveaway

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.

biography · informational writing · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · nonfiction · nonfiction writing · picture book

New Mentor Texts for Information Writing

The books featured in this post, all of which were published in 2015, represent a variety of information writing. All of these are texts that can pull double- and even triple-duty in your classroom, thereby allowing you to use a text during read-aloud time so you can revisit it during a writing workshop minlesson and/or in a content area.

Author Spotlight Series · authors · non-narrative writing · nonfiction · organization · research

Crafting Nonfiction: Conducting Research and Organizing Information

Melissa Stewart, award-winning author of more than 150 nonfiction books for children, steps into our Author's Spotlight today. In her post, she shares about the chunk and check process, which will help your students conduct research.

non-narrative writing · nonfiction · writing

Giving Students Choice in Note Taking

Tomorrow marks the last of our research days in writing workshop.  When we return to school next week, my sixth graders will begin the process of sifting through their research and drafting their feature articles.  As I helped my students gather their notes together and put them away in their writing folders, I could not… Continue reading Giving Students Choice in Note Taking

independent writing projects · informational writing · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · nonfiction

Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 3 of 5)

If you're planning to launch independent writing projects in your class during the final weeks of school, then you'll most likely have several students who might want to write a book about a topic of expertise.  Therefore, it might be nice to have a few new mentor texts on hand that you didn't use when… Continue reading Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 3 of 5)

informational writing · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · nonfiction · Read Aloud · science

Informational Writing that Dazzles + a Giveaway

A couple months back I promised to be more intentional about finding nonfiction picture books to recommend as mentor texts for writing workshop.  I've been looking at a lot of informational texts in that time and found a few books by the same author and illustrator team that have dazzled me. A Rock Is Lively,… Continue reading Informational Writing that Dazzles + a Giveaway

common core · narrative · non-narrative writing · persuasive writing · video

Approaching Common Core + PARCC

Yesterday I heard James Kofi Annan tell his story of child slave to business man to freedom fighter for the children in Ghana. Check out this CNN video for a taste of what I had the privilege of hearing first hand. His story moved me and compelled me to think about how I can use my corner… Continue reading Approaching Common Core + PARCC

digital writing · non-narrative writing · primary grades · research · writing workshop

Martha Horn!

Martha Horn is coming to NE Indiana on October 14, hosted by the All-Write Consortium. I'm super excited to hear her thoughts about teaching our youngest writers. If you are interested in attending, just click here for registration information. Do you know her book, Talking, Drawing, and Writing? She wrote it along with Mary Ellen… Continue reading Martha Horn!

conferring · non-narrative writing

A Tough Conference

Today I conferred with a fourth grade girl who was doing her best to write a feature article. I watched her for a few minutes before I conferred with her and noticed she had several pages written, but also seemed to be copying the research she printed (at home) about her topic. I pulled up… Continue reading A Tough Conference

celebration · non-narrative writing · parent involvement · research

Nonfiction Writing Celebration

I've just gotta tell you, I attended an incredible writing celebration today. Not only was the celebration itself cool, but the way it evolved rocked too. It was a true collaboration. It is teachers like Gretchen and Christi who push me to become a better teacher. So the celebration . . . how do I… Continue reading Nonfiction Writing Celebration

art · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · Read Aloud

Journey Around a Topic

Earlier this month, The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice, which is written by Wendy Pfeffer and illustrated by Linda Bleck, was released by Dutton Children's Books.  The Longest Day is non-fiction, but it reads like fiction since Pfeffer paints vivid in the reader's mind with the language she purposefully selects.  The vivid language she… Continue reading Journey Around a Topic

community · non-narrative writing · publishing · social justice

The Truth Matters!

My students published their research-based essays on the Holocaust this morning, which was not a small feat! I was so incredibly proud of their diligence and desire to produce a quality piece of writing during the final month of the school year.  After their celebration, they went to recess and lunch.  When they returned, I… Continue reading The Truth Matters!