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Making Mentor Texts Meaningful and Memorable

Get elementary students interacting with all of your amazing mentor texts with this simple strategy. Use mentor texts as inspiration for writing ideas! This writing activity is perfect for centers, or as a mini-lesson teachers can use with every mentor text they read!

Want to make those amazing mentor texts you spend countless hours hand picking for your mini-lessons more meaningful?  This is a simple strategy you can use to sear these texts into your students' little brains and to help them see the connection between the books you read and their own writing.  Once you introduce this brainstorming strategy, it can also be a great activity for your writing center!

Get elementary students interacting with all of your amazing mentor texts with this simple strategy. Use mentor texts as inspiration for writing ideas! This writing activity is perfect for centers, or as a mini-lesson teachers can use with every mentor text they read!

1. Find a picture of your mentor text's cover (A simple Google image search will do the trick)
2. Copy and paste rows and columns of the picture of the book cover in a PowerPoint slide (PowerPoint is WAY easier to play with graphics in than Word)
3. Print out the slide and cut up a small picture of the book cover for every student.


Get elementary students interacting with all of your amazing mentor texts with this simple strategy. Use mentor texts as inspiration for writing ideas! This writing activity is perfect for centers, or as a mini-lesson teachers can use with every mentor text they read!

After you read the book, students glue the copy of the book cover in their writer's notebooks and brainstorm ideas for writing that were inspired by this mentor text. Holding a share circle after 5-7 minutes of brainstorming, and then giving students 5 more minutes can greatly help those students who are stuck.

This can be a go to activity for every mentor text you read:
*Read the book
*Glue mini covers in WNB {writer's notebooks}
*Brainstorm ideas
*Share out
*Brainstorm some more
*Revisit {add more ideas or choose one of the ideas to write about}


Here are some mentor texts you might use to inspire ideas for writing: {affiliate links}

A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Looking Back: A Book of Memories is such a fun text!  Try reading the chapter where Lois Lowry describes how she went about choosing her dog.  The kids absolutely love seeing the dog that she ended up choosing and can almost always come up with ideas for pet stories.  You might also read the chapter where Lois found a dead rat and brought it home thinking it would make a good pet.  It always takes a few minutes for the kids to figure out what she brought home and put in the oven.  Their wide eyes and smiles when they finally figure out what happened (A dead rat in the oven?!) will make your day!

A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
All the Places to Love is a perfect book to inspire ideas for writing based on favorite places.  It's also a great one to model word choice.  

A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Knots in My Yo-Yo String is a book that might just inspire you as a teacher writer too.  You can use this book as inspiration for students to draw a map of a place they know well and jot down stories they have in this familiar location.  

A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Alphabet books can be tricky, but O is for Orca: An Alphabet Book is worth your time.  It is a great model for short but interesting research.  Be careful though - if you let kids create their own alphabet books they might just work on them for the entire year.


Do you have any go-to mentor texts to inspire writing?  Please share them!  I am always looking for new books to add to my "writing teacher" shelf.

Have a fab day Super Teacher,








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1 comment

  1. I love this idea. I'm going to use it next week with a chapter book I just read to my grade one class. Thanks, Katie!
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