Snow Day and Mentor Texts!

April 10, 2013

Guess what? We actually did have a snow day today! It’s April-freakin-9th…yet I got to stay home all day today.

“How much snow did you get?” I can hear you asking…so let me show you.

From my bedroom window…

Notice how you can still see the street? And the grass? And the neighbor’s driveway? We really didn’t get that much snow. But I’m not complaining! A snow day is always appreciated.

But it’s back to the real world tomorrow. So, since I am back on the work train tomorrow, I want to link up with Amanda and Stacia for the Must Read Mentor Text linky!

This week’s theme is Language Arts!

Our district has really been highlighting mentor texts in many of our PDs about writing. In fact, they highly encourage us to use mentor texts at the beginning of each writing unit we start. When I started teaching, that wasn’t something I had ever thought of.

But when I learned about mentor texts and how to use them, it made perfect sense! So now we start out each unit learning from published authors about how to write…

We usually start with an anchor chart like this:

This is our anchor chart for Slice of Life writing – we also call it Personal Narrative. The 3 texts I like to use for mentor texts are:

by Jane Yolen
by Julie Brinckloe
by Patricia Polacco

I love all three of these books because they are great examples of Slice of Life writing – they tell a small story with lots of detail and amazing descriptions. Each one is a memory (or memory-like) from the author’s childhood. I usually do this in the beginning of the year…and the kids are riveted to the stories because they are so well-written.

Plus, the kids get a great example of how their Slice of Life writing will look when they are done. 🙂 It really helps them to write with a product in mind and to have a great example to learn from!

Make sure you head over to share your top picks for mentor texts!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Collaboration Cuties April 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    These are three fabulous books!! I love all three of them!! I definitely agree that sticking to a few mentor texts in writing and highlighting all of their great assets helps the students become better writers too!

    Thank you so much for linking up!!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  • Reply Jane April 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I love all those books, too, especially Fireflies. I just pinned your anchor chart.

    We have off today because of ice. So much for Spring weather…..

    Learning in the Little Apple

  • Reply Nick R April 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I love Owl Moon. I'm a big fan of using mentor texts. I use them with pretty much every new writing topic I introduce. Always looking for new ones to use!

    I'm your newest follower!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

  • Reply Bethany Hunter April 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I love all three of these books. Thanks for sharing your anchor chart. I'm your newest follower.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  • Reply The Craft of Teaching May 2, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Thanks for hosting such a great linky Amanda! What a great resource for busy teachers. 🙂


  • Reply The Craft of Teaching May 2, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Thanks Jane! I can't believe this crazy spring. We got more snow today!


  • Reply The Craft of Teaching May 2, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Thanks for following Nick! I love using mentor texts too…helps them be better writers AND introduces them to great books to read. 🙂


  • Reply The Craft of Teaching May 2, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Thanks for following, Bethany! I hope the anchor chart is useful!


  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.