Summer Stuff #8 Collecting Mentor Texts for Writing

Summer!  That time of year when we intend to do amazing things for our classroom but life just gets in the way!  Even though I don't always get around to laminating all the things or cleaning out my classroom cupboards #sothat'swherethatfieldtripmoneywent, one of the things I can do is buy books that will serve as excellent mentor texts for next year. #helloamazonprime

Collecting new mentor texts for writing is one way I feel productive during the summer.  If you Super Teachers out there have more ideas for mentor texts you ABSOLUTELY LOVE I would be jazzed to hear about them in the comments!  Here are a few I'm either buying or dusting off for next year.

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love, love, love the book Me . . . Jane.  This is a excellent text to whip out during a nonfiction/biography unit.  The pictures are beautifully done and my kids love the ending where the author moves from illustrations to a photograph.  The combination of picture book story with nonfiction information at the end is so well done and is a great example for students of mixing genres, getting story inspiration from real people, as well as zooming in on a single event - like Jane's relationship with her stuffed monkey Jubilee.  This is a book we read and reread over and over again because the kids request it!

The S.O.S. File is great for emergency stories and/or scar stories!  If you read this during a personal narrative unit you can try doing a genre switch (using students' personal narratives as inspiration for a fictional story).
The Day I Lost my Class Hamster is a excellent text to model personal narrative and school stories.  I always read the Miss Cucumber chapter and then talk about bathroom accident school stories.  My third graders always find it thrilling to learn that Mrs. Smith had many-a-bathroom-accident by the end of second grade.  I had a very sensitive stomach.  :)  
I love 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny.  It's perfect for for a quick summer teacher read. I've also used it as a personal narrative mentor text in the classroom.  Try the chapter where he gets his tie stuck in the laminator. I also try to read the Picture Day chapter on (you guessed it) picture day.  Fantastic!
Be warned: He uses the word H-E-L-L so for sensitive/over-reactive students don't read it under the doc camera. I learned this lesson the hard way so you don't have to.
If you're interested in more of my Summer Stuff Series, focused on easy items to make or think about implementing in your classroom next year, check out these posts:
Summer Stuff #1 - The Birthday Committee
Summer Stuff #2 - The Service Station Freebie
Summer Stuff #3 - The Tooth Fairy
Summer Stuff #4 - Freebie Sanitizer Bathroom Passes
Summer Stuff #5 - Books for Back to School
Summer Stuff #6 - Award Awesome Students with The C.H.I.P. Award
Summer Stuff #7 - Crazy Easy Differentiation Folders

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