Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mentor Texts

Hey friends!

Kelli & I are happy to report that we successfully made it through another week!  I know I'm definitely excited for a long weekend!  

This week Kelli and I began the preparations for our presentation at the Keystone State Reading Association's fall conference.  Originally we were worried about having enough to say to fill our time, but once we started preparing, we realized we have SO much to say that 2 hours really isn't enough!  One of the things we talked about was our LOVE of Mentor Texts during our Writing mini-lessons.  We both have a lot of favorites, so in the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing those with you.  I decided to start with my absolute favorite picture book, If Roast Beef Could Fly by Jay Leno.  I LOVE this book and so do my students.  The best part is, the back of the book includes a CD where Jay Leno himself reads the story.  The kids really enjoy having the book read by him since he uses funny voices and a lot of expression as he reads.  I use this book every year to introduce the students to the format of a narrative.  We talk about how Jay hooks the reader and develops his characters, how he describes the setting through his vivid details, and how the plot unfolds naturally.  We take the time to list out the sequenced summary of the story on a Free Plot Diagram Printable from Scholastic so we can see the different parts of the plot, and where they all fall on this graphic organizer.  Students then have the visual of how a story is written, and take time to write their own.  

Do you have a favorite Mentor Text that you always use in your classroom?  What is it and how do you use it?  We'd love to hear about it!  

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!  


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