Books, books and more books

I used a lot of fantastic mentor texts in my classroom last year and I’m proud of that. What I’m not so proud of is the way that I used them to “spark” ideas in the students for their own writing. I would read a book and then I would give them a writing prompt: “Now write about a time that you _______ (wanted something, got mad, left your favorite stuffed animal at the laundromat).” I was telling the students the experience they should have gotten from the book instead of allowing them to tell me (which leads to zero critical thinking). In order to allow students to have their own ideas, I plan to keep my mouth shut at the end of a story and let them tell me what it makes them think about. I will let them ponder the words and choose their favorites to add to their notebooks. I will encourage them to read as much as possible on their own.

Here are some of my favorite mentor texts:

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant

Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies

Big Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley

Not Afraid of Dogs by Susanna Pitzer

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

How else can we use mentor texts to help students with prewriting?





About erica banks krug

I live in Wisconsin. I love cooking, eating kale, taking photographs, road trips and the Packers. I used to ride a ski lift to work. Now I work as a substitute teacher. But I dream of being able to call myself a "writer." You have to start somewhere....
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One Response to Books, books and more books

  1. Jim, Emily, Susan and Miriam says:

    AMAZING collection of mentor texts. We can’t wait to read them and use them in our own teaching. Got more? Keep sharing!

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