Using a Mentor Text

Before break, my older students were focused on Informational Texts. We had studied different types of Informational Texts (Description, Problem & Solution, Cause & Effect, Compare & Contrast, and Sequence) in various types of texts including articles and videos. We ended the study with a look at “How To” books.

The students had already talked with the student teacher (that’s right, I had some student teachers here for a while because I like taking on more than I can handle) about writing a how to and including important information. I wanted this to be more FUN.

Over the summer, I heard about some great mentor texts from an amazing teacher (she’s over here at Teaching With Smiles 123) and wanted the chance to use the book How To Read a Story by Kate Messner. I read the story aloud with the students (which they LOVE – even the big kids) and we talked about how it’s not a how to book for something you actually need to know how to do. And it’s funny! We talked about why it’s funny and what Messner does to make her story stand out among a million other “how to” books and topics.

Then I had them write their own! The students brainstormed ideas, we re-read the book so they could think about how to incorporate Messner’s ideas into their own book. They drafted steps and their ideas before finally publishing a finished book. They were so excited! I loved reading through their books and finding out just how clever these kids really are.

So, if you’re in the market for a self-help books on how to get ready for school, let me know because I’ve got a great book in mind…

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