Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” as Mentor Text

We’ve been excitedly sitting on today’s guest post for nearly a year! We are so happy to finally share this lesson with you — perfect for the late fall and early winter as you scramble to engage your students in meaningful work before Winter Break!  Adrian Nester is an AP English teacher and journalism adviser […]

Do You Hear What I Hear? Using Song Lyrics as Mentor Texts for Teaching Voice

Today’s guest post is from Kelly Pace, Hanover County’s (Virginia) Teacher of the Year! She teaches 9th, 11th, and 12th grade English along with IB Theory of Knowledge. You might remember her from a post she wrote for us earlier in the year on teaching active & passive voice! Nineteen years ago, I found myself […]

Mentor Text Monday: Engaging Students with HUMANS OF NEW YORK

Mentor Text:  Humans of New York — blog and book by Brandon Stanton Also: LIttle Humans —book by Brandon Stanton Writing Techniques: Effective interviewing Fusing images and text Concision & drilling down to the essentials Background: While I’m off, I am dreaming of the mentor texts and units of study that will fill my second […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Restaurant Review PLUS Interview with Writer

Mentor Text: Wells, Pete. “Fred and Barney Would Feel Right at Home.” The New York Times. The New York Times Co. 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 7 April 2014. Author Information: “At the Critics’ Table.” The New York Times. The New York Times Co. 3 Sept. 2013. Web. 7 April 2014. Background: Driving to work this week, […]

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 Wednesdays: Infographics!

Mentor Text: See Learnist board  Genre-Based Workshop: Infographics Technique-Based Workshop: Using visuals as evidence in writing Background: We usually study mentor texts in isolation, but sometimes it can be useful to show students a group, or cluster, of mentor texts all at once. Studying a group of genre-specific mentor texts helps students identify the traits […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Ideas first, Genre Second

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”. Essayforum.com. “The Power of Snowboarding” by Jordan. ThisIBelieve.org, 15 December 2010. Writing Technique: Choosing a form for an idea […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Using Pixar’s Up to Teach Scene and Summary

Mentor Text: Up. Dir. Pete Docter. Pixar, 2009. Story is the lifeblood of all good writing. But students don’t realize its power until they are explicitly shown how it works across all genres of writing. An editorial tells the story of an issue. A memoir tells the story of a life. An analysis tells the story of […]