Mentor Text Wednesday: Inspiring Mentor Texts

Mentor Texts: “Repetition” by Phil Kaye “In Childhood” by Sarah A. Chavez Skill: Seeking inspiration from outside sources Most discussions about writer’s workshop usually center around two components: mini lessons and conferring. They are the favorite children of workshop. But lately Rebekah and I have been turning our attention to mentor texts. When students leave […]

Moving Students from Idea to Draft: a Sticky-Note Structure

Structure seems to be something young writers innately sense … or don’t.  Those who don’t tend to have explosive bursts of thought, leaving word shrapnel all over the paper. To try to combat this, one of my first mini-lessons of the year is on brainstorming — hoping that if students write their ideas down somewhere, […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Ken Tucker’s Review of Pharrell’s New Album

Mentor Text: Tucker, Ken. “Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy”. 6 March 2014.  Technique: Using Figurative Language as Evidence Background:  Ken Tucker read his review of Pharrell’s new album on Fresh Air as I drove home after work one Friday. “A MENTOR TEXT!” I screeched. (Literally.) And sometimes — the most wonderful times — we find mentor texts this […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: China’s Web Junkies Op-Doc

Mentor Text: “China’s Web Junkies,” an Op-Doc from The New York Times Skill: Using evidence to support a position Background: Every year it seems that more and more of my students are denouncing Facebook. They talk about it freely during passing time as they unpack their bags. “You’re still on? I’ve been off for a […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Concrete Details

Mentor Texts: “Has Snowboarding Lots Its Edge” by Christopher Solomon. The New York Times, 16 January 2013. “A Sports Star’s ‘Crash,’ Then The Search For A New Normal” by Ian Buckwalter. NPR, 4 July 2013. “Snowboarding”. “The Power of Snowboarding” by Jordan., 15 December 2010. Writing Technique: Using concrete details Background:  I am experimenting […]