Mentor Texts

Getting More Out of Your Students with Mentor Texts

What is a mentor text?

According to Ruth Culham, mentor texts are defined as "any text, print or digital, that you can read with a writer's eye" (31). Based on the idea that reading/consuming text can help students become better writers, mentor texts can be used to isolate and teach the skills and traits associated with quality writing. Seen as one of the eleven elements of effective writing instruction, the use of models/mentor texts, encourages students to analyze then emulate the critical elements, patterns, and forms embodied in the models in their own writing.

According to Kelly Gallagher, Mentor Texts are...

Real world writing samples. By deconstructing the writing samples, students gain a deeper understanding of how the text was written/constructed. The goal is to have students emulate the mentor text/models in their own writing. By providing students with Mentor Texts, the teacher is giving the students a background to draw from and a resource to help inspire them.

Examples of Mentor Texts

  • advertisement
  • poster
  • web site
  • nutrition plan
  • book review
  • documentary
  • magazine article
  • picture book
  • business plan
  • letter
  • blog post