A New Source for Finding Mentor Texts
I’m not recommending a children’s book you can use in your classroom today. Instead, I have something better. It’s a professional book about children’s books that every writing teacher needs to have improve their use of teaching with mentor texts needs to have.
Earlier this year Susan Ehmann and Kellyann Gayer published I can write like that! A Guide to Mentor Texts and Craft Studies for Writers’ Workshop, K-6. The amount of work they did to compile a text like this was evident to me by flipping through the pages, but even more apparent after reading through the introduction, which allowed me to picture the two of them dissecting hundreds of books for all of the possible things one could teach a young writer (from each book).
With Katie Wood Ray’s rationale in Wondrous Words to move guide them on their journey, the duo looked for books that did the following:
The bottom line for why I select the text is that I see something in how that text is written which would be useful for my students to also see. I see something about the text that holds potential for my students’ learning. I am looking for texts that have something in them or about them that can add to my students’ knowledge base of how to write well (1999, 188).