Reading Through a Writer's Lens

From Mentor Text to Craft Lessons

RSU 5: Freeport, Durham, Pownal Professional Learning Day

Teachers underlying knowledge of children’s books and how they can serve as mentor texts is an essential element in becoming effective teachers of writing (and reading). They are often faced with the challenge of finding just the right books to support instruction. Giving teachers time to develop the skill of reading texts with different lenses to comb out parts that can be used for demonstration and access to newer titles are important first steps. On Friday, October 10, 2014 teachers from three elementary schools in RSU 5 spent a professional learning day looking more closely at types of mentor texts and designing craft lessons.

We broke the day up into two areas. The morning was spent looking more closely at the purpose of mentor texts, how they support writing (and reading) development, and working in vertical teams to find newer titles to add to their repertoire. During the afternoon portion of the day, we looked more closely at designing and implementing craft lessons for writing. This work was done in grade level teams, taking a new text(s) discovered during the morning work and collaborating to plan several craft lessons that teachers could begin using right away.

As a part of continuing this learning and conversation, we've provided links to resources shared on October 10, 2014. We've also included additional resources that will extend our understanding.

Our morning began with a Keynote from Maine author, Megan Frazer Blakemore, via Google Hangout. Megan shared with teachers her experience growing up in a school where reading and writing were valued, celebrated; how that impacted her as a writer and how she uses mentor texts in her own writing work. It was a perfect beginning to our day's work.

Additional Resources from Megan Frazer Blakemore

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Reading Through a Writer's Lens Padlet

Reading Through a Writer's Lens

Additional Resources

Making the Most of Mentor Texts
Imagine the Possibilities! A Workshop on Mentor Texts with Dr. Dorfman