Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Engage Your Students Through the Use of Mentor Texts

by S. Romero

As a teacher, creating engaging lessons is vital in keeping your students engaged and excited about learning. Using mentor texts that your students can connect to and are familiar with during reading, writing and other subject does exactly that! They engage students!

Our standards are organized by genres so this made it easy to plan my author study unit. Since I had to teach through historical, cultural, traditional, and realistic fiction genres, I selected Patricia Polacco because her books were a “good fit” for these genres plus, she is an amazing children’s author! 

For the historical genre, we read Pink ‘n’ Say and for traditional and cultural genre, we read The Keeping Quilt and Thunder Cake. We created anchor charts with the characteristics of each of the genres. Students learned about the Civil War and family traditions and cultures.  Both topics interested my students. The mentor texts engaged the students in the process of making predictions, talking about problems and solutions, making inferences, and learning about the Civil War and family traditions and culture, which created an interest in writing ideas. 


We didn’t just read books to cover our author study; we put those books to use that made our reading and learning more meaningful and purposeful! Before you knew it, our classroom was covered with anchor charts labeled with genre specific information and text they could refer to for those genres. The author study was a great success!

How do you use mentor texts?

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