Sharing Our Thinking: What are Mentor Texts ?Mentor texts are pieces of literature that you canreturn to and reread for many different purposes.Mentor texts are to be studied and then imitated.Mentor texts help students make powerfulconnections to their own lives.Mentor texts help students take risks and try outnew strategies.Mentor texts should be books that students can relate to andcan read independently or with some support.
Why Use Picture Books as Mentor Texts?Picture books provide the models that will help students grow as writers.They stimulate creativity and create interest.They are rich in beautiful illustrations that add another layer to the text.They can be used to connect reading strategies to author’s craft.They contain multiple life lessons.They are culturally diverse.They demonstrate the importance of choosing words wisely.They are short enough to be shared entirely in one reading.
from Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s LiteratureMentor texts become our coaches and our partnersas we bring the joy of writing to our students. Theyhelp students envision the kind of writer they canbecome; they help teachers move the whole writer,rather than each individual piece of writing,forward. Writers can imitate the mentor text andcontinue to find new ways to grow.
Possible Writing Lessons from Painting the Wind Writing in the present tense Strong verbs Effective repetition Hyphenated adjectives Variations in print Variation in sentence length Effective use of dialogue Listing with semicolon and comma Setting up the ending in the using a sentence fragment beginning with a dash placement variation without the use of a conjunction Placing adjectives after the noun with a colon Use of exact nouns and names Character snapshots
Adjective Placement to Emphasize Meaning “I can’t concentrate,” she said, her voice flat and unhappy. (Baby by Patricia MacLachlan) There will be Sarah’s sea, blue and gray and green, hanging on the wall. (Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan) He is wearing a strange cowboy hat, too small, that sits high on his head. (Journey by Patricia MacLachlan) Somewhere behind us a train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song. (Owl Moon by Jane Yolen)
Adjective Placement to Emphasize Meaning We reached the line of pines, black and pointy against the sky, and Pa held up his hands. (Owl Moon by Jane Yolen) Our trees poke their branches, black and spiky, against the sky. (Peepers by Eve Bunting) I held the jar, dark and empty, in my hands. (Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe) I have a pomegranate, hard and dry. (Anna’s Table by Eve Bunting) I have a caterpillar, curled and mummy black, A lizard, thin and wide, run over by a car. (Anna’s Table by Eve Bunting)
From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. RowlingChristmas morning dawned, cold and bright. (p. 211)Not only were there a dozen frost-covered Christmastrees and thick streamers of holly and mistletoecrisscrossing the Great Hall, but enchanted snow wasfalling, warm and dry, from the ceiling. (p. 212)
From Lynne’s Notebook… Gazing upon the slippers, ruby-red and sparkling like fiery stars, she clicked them together three times and wished to return to Kansas. The morning mist, silver and silent, crept in among the meadow’s wildflowers, grasses and oaks like a mysterious stranger. The summer day, long and hot, had finally ended in a torrent of angry rain. The August rain, angry and merciless, pelted the young cornstalks into the soggy earth.
Summer is here. And the painters come back to theisland. They come on the mailboat with their paintsand easels and bags of books and favorite pots andpans. Some bring their children. All of them bringtheir dogs.
From John Henry by Julius Lester John Henry sang and he hammeredand the air danced and the rainbowshimmered and the earth shook androlled from the blows of the hammer.Finally it was quiet. Slowly the dustcleared.
From James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl They gaped. They screamed. They started to run. Theypanicked. They both got in each other’s way. They beganpushing and jostling, and each one of them was thinkingonly about saving herself. Aunt Sponge, the fat one, trippedover a box that she’d brought along to keep the money in,and fell flat on her face. Aunt Spiker immediately trippedover Aunt Sponge and came down on top of her. They bothlay on the ground, fighting and clawing and yelling andstruggling frantically to get up again, but before they coulddo this, the mighty peach was upon them. There was a crunch. And then there was silence.
From Rose’s Notebook…Mark crisscrossed to the other end of the courtdodging his opponents and dribbling the ball in astaccato rhythm as the shouts and cheers from thefans echoed in his ears. He made the shot. Thewhistle blew. Victory.
The Your Turn Lesson Hook Use literature to invite participation Purpose Tell what you will do Brainstorm Invite writers to generate ideas Model Demonstrate with your own writing
Shared/Guided Writing Writers actively participate as a class or in partnerships Independent Writing Writers compose Reflection Writers reflect on how the writing worked. Writers become aware of what works for them and what will move them forward as writers.
From Barn Savers by Linda Oatman HighPapa plops the tools in the trough, and dust floats likechicken feed.Darkness falls soft and silent like chicken feathers aroundthe barn.Finally, the darkness fades to dawn, and the sun rolls beforeus like a wagon wheel.I stack and stack, and the sun sinks low in the sky like asleepy, red-faced farmer.
From Beekeepers: The springtime sunshine pours like warm honey from the sky… Goosebumps sting my arms and I shake… From The Girl on the High-Diving Horse: Summertime gallops by… Heart pounding like hooves, I nod…
Hyphenated Adjectives from Linda Oatman HighFrom The Girl on the High-Diving Horse: As we walk, I can’t help but gawk at boxing kangaroos, card-playing cats, and a dog on a surfboard. “Our hotel home,” says Papa, stopping at a castle-shaped place rising pink and high as a sunrise into blue New Jersey sky. “That’s the girl on the high-diving horse,” he explains. “She’s crazy- brave.” I kiss the big horse on his velvet-soft nose. In the purple-early morning of our last day of summer…
Hyphenated Adjectives From Other AuthorsBaseballs, Snakes, and Summer Squash by Donald Graves Look for the use of hyphen to create sound words or exact adjectives in run- down, long-haired, clickety-click, doe-eyed, ‘no-thank-you’ and orange-bellied.Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher deep-rooted, last-minute, dew-spangledUp North at the Cabin by Marsha Wilson Chall air-bubble balloons and peanut-butter-and-worm sandwichesThe Divide by Michael Bedard copper-colored grass, rose-patterned paper, sunflower-bordered road, weather-beaten boards, and fresh-plowed soil. Note the name of a flower, snow-on-the-mountain.
Langston’s Train Ride by Robert Burleigh long-ago train rides, sun-tinged Mississippi, dust-flecked window, tar-paper shacks and broken-down sheds. He also uses hyphens to create verbs and nouns: I skit-skat a little half-dance on the sidewalk.Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes Bessie would attend the hot-in-summer, cold-in-winter, one-room Colored schoolhouse where I taught in Waxahachie.Animal Acrostics by David Hummon polka-dotted, ear-ringing, never-ending, fairy-tale, topsy-turvy, and open- mouthed.
Specificity is everything! show-your-love day raise-the-hair-on-your-arms night cover-your-ears-but-not-your-eyes nightwake-up-your-parents-as-soon-as-possible morning
Taffy SentencesFrom Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson …It was going to be another hot August day. Another long, hot August day. Another long, hot, boring wretched August day.From Nocturne by Jane Yolen In the night, in the velvet night, in the brushstroked bluecoat velvet night, a big moon balloon floats silent over trees…
Trying It Out February Blizzard by Charlotte Otten by RoseFebruary turns everything to gray: A blizzard turns everything to white:gray lakes, gray fog, gray sun. white trees, white skies, whiteGray squirrels lose their bearings rooftops.hunting for acorns buried White-tailed deer step gingerlybeneath thick gray snow. searching for a drink on frozen white lakes.
Grade 5 Shared Writing Experience Music makes every day a celebration: soft blues, country ballads, hard rock. People start toe-tapping their feet and clap, clap, clapping their hands and dancing to the beat - fast or slow.
From The Eyes of Gray Wolf by Jonathan LondonAt the top, he closes his eyes, throws back his head,and howls. A wild, untamed music, it seems tobounce off the moon, echoing from the mountainsand filling the gullies and valleys.
from “You Reading This, Be Ready” by William StaffordWhen you turn around, starting here, lift thisnew glimpse that you found; carry into eveningall that you want from this day. This interval youspent reading or hearing this, keep it for life -