How Can I Help My Students Dig Deeper into Mentor Texts?

We get different versions of this question, a lot:

“I love mentor texts. I totally see why they are beneficial. But my students are struggling to notice craft in them.”


“My students have gotten pretty good at noticing surface-level craft moves, but after they’ve noticed one or two things — they’re done. How do I get them to dig deeper?”


“My students are great at noticing interesting craft in mentor texts, but I’m having trouble getting them to transfer it to their writing.”


“My students use mentor moves in their current piece of writing, but it’s like they totally forget them when the unit is over. How can I get them to retain these craft moves and continue practicing them?”

Mentor text work is rewarding — it’s been an absolute game-changer in my instructional practice — but it isn’t necessarily easy, and it definitely isn’t “one-and-done”. We are all on a journey to help our students to do. more and dig deeper with mentor texts.

That’s why Allison and I have created this four-part, self-paced course. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • A continuum of mentor text work — you’ll find each of your students somewhere along this continuum!
  • Scaffolds that help students who just aren’t seeing anything in the mentor texts.
  • Strategies to thoughtfully build mentor text capacity over time
  • Ways to model mentor text work for students to move them forward
  • Strategies for talking to students about mentor texts and how they work
  • Next steps for students who are ready for more
  • Tangible ways to help students remember to use and transfer mentor moves across pieces of writing

If you’ve read Writing With Mentors and A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts and you’re still unsure, you’re struggling, or you’re ready for even more, this course is for you! It includes our latest thinking + newest strategies for making mentor texts work for you and your writers!

For the month of January, we’re offering Moving Writers readers a special discount on this new course. Get 10% off in January using code MovingWriters10 at checkout!


  1. Would there be any way to documentation for PD hours? Carol Toomey North Bergen High School President, NBFT

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