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Mentor Texts

Here are some great picture books we've used in class to foster student writing.  We feel it's best to give students some real literature and real authors to emulate when starting their own writing!

We'll also add lessons we've enjoyed and helpful tools to use to help students with all aspects of the Writing Process!

1.  Where do writer's get ideas for their writing? 
Reading published books is one way to find inspiration for a new writing piece.  Sharing read alouds with students and then revisiting them during writing mini-lessons can give them "triggers" to sit down and begin their own pieces.  What do the stories make them think about or remind them of? 

This book's story is told through a series of letters a young girl writes to her family members.  It's great to show students another mode of writing:  letters.  Pair it with mini-lessons on how to write a friendly letter.

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I used this book to model including information about the characters and setting in the beginning of a story.  Students needed to name two characters and "blow one up" for the readers so they knew more about him/her.  (blowing the character up the way one might "blow up" a order to "see" more detail)

This book also shares elements of fantasy and can be used to show how authors use dialogue to create strong characters.

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This story told about a young girl struggling to complete a piece of writing for school.  She asked the simple question "What if?" to help her take an ordinary situation into something imaginative for her story.  It pairs well with mini-lessons on cause and effect and sequencing events.
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Another "What if" book to help students use their imagination for writing.

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Mrs. Harvey used this book to help students "see" how an author can create strong characters.

The Relatives Came
A personal narrative you can use to show students how an author shares a "small moment" or "seed" story rather than telling about an entire day or writing an entire list of events providing few details.