Voice Over, Camera Shots, and Conservationist Storytelling

Watching Faith E. Briggs navigate the ruts, inclines, and down hills as she runs through three national monuments – public lands protected under the Antiquities Act – makes for a vivid and immersive viewing experience.  Her exploration of what it means to be a conservationist amid the threat of rolled back protections for public lands […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Why Dolly Parton Doesn’t a Nashville Statue – Yet

Mentor Text: Why Dolly Parton Doesn’t Deserve a Nashville Statue — Yet by Marcus K. Dowling Techniques: Expressing Opinion Using Evidence to Reinforce Opinion Critical Thinking Background – In this house, we believe in Dolly Parton. Her records are regularly spun, and we believe in her messages of kindness and compassion. If our daughters manage to […]

What Comes After Mentor Texts? Student-Created Mentor Text Rubrics

I’ve been on a journey this fall to think about ways to move students toward increasing writing independence. We know mentor texts benefit writers of all ages. We know that isolating the moves writers make helps newer, less-experienced writers demystify the writing process and take their own work to new heights. But we also want […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: The Poem Where I Lie About Everything

Mentor Text: The Poem Where I Lie About Everything by Rudy Francisco Techniques: Lying Making Your Audience Think Reflection Background – Let me start with a confession. December kicked my butt. We came into on the heels of report cards, and a heightened set of protocols in reaction to a second wave with record setting COVID […]

What Comes After Mentor Texts?Building Mentor-Text-Infused Reading Rhythms

I’ve been obsessively watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, the true-ish story of Beth Harmon, American chess champion. Like everyone binging the Netflix show, I now fancy myself a minor chess expert. To work her way to higher and higher levels of chess mastery, Harmon studies past champions’ games. And then she plays past champions’ […]