Summer Stuff #8 Collecting Mentor Texts for Writing

Holy cow I've been a slacker blogger!  I was so excited to get a new job last summer that I spent a whole lot of time working in my new classroom and hardly any time blogging.

But now it's SUMMER and I'm back to blogging and being a productive member of teacher-blogging society.  I have goals to be a much more prolific blogger during the 2015-16 school year.  I learned tons of things in my new classroom so I have lots of fresh ideas for blogging!

One of the first things I'm doing this summer is collecting new mentor texts for writing for next year.  If you fabulous teachers out there have more ideas I would love to hear them in the comments!  Here are a few I'm either buying or dusting off for next year.

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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