One of the first types of writing styles we commonly look at are narratives. Students LOVE telling stories that are important to them. Here are a few of my favorites:
One of my all time favorite books for word choice is The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer. I absolutely love the descriptive language. I typically use this book in reading when introducing how we can visualize to help us understand a book better. I first read the book without showing them any of the pictures and allow them to draw their own vision. Then, we use it again with the mindset of writers and notice how the descriptive language really pulls us in. Again, students can start with a detailed illustration of a place that is special to them and learn how to use descriptive language to help their audience picture it as well.
I don't know about your kids but many of mine always seem to "get stuck" when trying to come up with ideas to write about. I have written about ways to inspire and motivate writers before and feel that using mentor texts is just one more way to do this.
Who is the main character?
Who are the family members?
Where are they trying to go?
Who comes to save the day?
What does the happy ending look like?A few years ago I had each child make their own book and bound it for them. Last year I wanted to integrate more technology. I had each child make their own book, but then also type their story into a word document. I edited the word documents and printed each out. Students added their best illustrations. I then photocopied all of the class stories back to front (1 page per child). Finally, I printed each set of class stories for every child in the classroom as an end of year gift. Although it did take a TON of ink, every child loved their book and I think it is something that their families can hang on to for years. Students were so creative with stories like Snake-arella, Unirella (unicorn), and Catarella (cats).
Lastly, when generating ideas, I love to use ABC books as inspiration. Students can easily brainstorm all of the details that go along with a topic. The ABC framework is also simple to use and can be done even in the beginning of the school year. Students could create a class book or individual student books based on abilities.
I hope you have been inspired by your own library and can look at many of your favorite books through the eyes of a writer! What are some of your favorite books for mentor texts?
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