Using Mentor Texts in the Classroom

Grades 2nd & 3rd

Denise Holland - NEISD - Instructional Literacy Coach - Windcrest Elementary

dholla@neisd.net

210-831-3543

What is a mentor? Turn and talk to your neighbor discussing what a mentor is.

Use the following sentence stems . . .

My mentor is _______ because he/she _______.


My mentors are _______ because they _______.

What is Author's Craft?


“Craft is the intentional use of techniques – including word choice, imagery, sound, rhythm, cadence, the placement of words on the page, use of white space – to create the desired impact upon the reader and to evoke a response from the reader. It is important to note that writers use craft with care. It isn’t done randomly or without thought.”

- Lester Laminack

Katie Wood Ray and Lester Laminack's Two Types of Craft

Words/Audible

Artful use of language and choice of words

-What the reader hears.

Structure/Visual

Organizational framework and the way the print lies on the page

-what the reader sees.

Some Craft Lesson Examples

Words/Audible

•Repeated Words

•Repetition of Phrases

•Figurative Language

•Sound Effects

•More…

Structure/Visual

•Italics

•Parentheses

•Dashes

•Stretching out Words

•More…

Katie Wood Ray - Learning to Read Like a Writer

•Notice something about the craft of the text.

•Talk about it and make a theory about why a writer might use this craft.

•Give the craft a name.

•Think of other texts you know. Have you seen this craft before?

•Try to envision using this craft in your own writing.

Lester Laminack Lesson Framework Learning to Read Like a Writer

1.Notice the Craft/Name the Craft

2.From a Theory

3.Explore Other Authors

4.Think About Your Own Writing

Ehman and Gayer Lesson Framework - Learning to Read Like a Writer

1.Notice and Name

2.Explore

3.Give It a Try

4.Celebrations

Notice the Craft/Name the Craft

•What did you notice as I read this aloud?

•What do you notice on this page?

•What has the writer done with the print here?

•How is the white space used differently here?

•You may have noticed…

•Many writers often…

Notice and Name: Form a Theory

•Why would a writer do this?

•How does this help you as a reader?

•Are there other places in this text where the author has done this?

•Does this confirm your theory or make you reconsider?

•Does this grow your theory? If so, how?

Explore Other Authors

•Do we know other writers who do this?

•Let’s explore other books and see if we notice other writers who do this…

•What do you notice in these other books?

•Does our theory work the same in this title? Does the author use it for the same reason?

Give it a Try in Your Own Writing

•How could you use this in your writing?

•Can you imagine this working for you?

•Could this work in some writing you are doing now?

•Give it a go!

Celebration

•Can you show me where you tried this craft?

•How did it work for you?

•Would you use this craft again? Where might you do so?

•Share that part out loud for us!

•Write that part on a sentence strip so we can post it.

Notice the Craft/Name the Craft

In November - by Cynthia Rylant

Notice and Name: Form a Theory

•What do you notice as I read this aloud?

•Why would a writer do this?

•How does this help you as a reader?

•Share your thoughts with a partner.

Explore Other Authors

Birthday Presents by Cynthia Rylant

In my New Yellow Shirt by Eileen Spinelli

Just Like Daddy by Frank Asch

Give it a Try - Kindergartener

In fall leaves parachute.

Give it a Try - Third Grader

In January

I sample steamy, chocolaty hot cocoa

I taste cold snow melting in my mouth

I nearly attach a tray of gingerbread and other pastries


In January

I notice birds flying south for migration

I spot my friend making a round snowman

I see people sledding down a long bumpy hill

Now, you try it . . .

Celebration

•Read your attempts aloud!

•Can you talk about where you tried this craft?

•How did it work for you?

•Would you use this craft again? Where might you do so?

Application and Practice: Read Aloud

1.Notice and Name

2.Explore

3.Give It a Try

4.Celebrations

Application and Practice: Book Stack

1.Notice and Name

2.Explore

3.Give It a Try

4.Celebrations

Choosing Mentor Texts

•What do I see this author doing?

•Why does the author do this? What job does it do for the reader?

•Have I seen this in other writing? Where?

•What can we call it so we will notice it in the work of others and use it ourselves?

•How can I try this in my own writing? Try it out.

•How could I lead my writers to try this?

Resources

"The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make a book." - Samuel Johnson

Contact Information

dholla@neisd.net

210-407-9600

Windcrest Elementary