#TCRWP and Mentor Texts


What is a Mentor Text?

Are all books mentor texts?

Should all books be in the pool of mentor texts?

1. All books that are read aloud to students are NOT, especially for this blog post, considered mentor texts.  For this post, I am defining mentor text as that ONE, yes, ONE text that matches the writing genre that I am teaching and that is completly covered in post-its because it is my “Marked – Up Mentor Text”.  Source: Celena Larkey, June 2015 TCRWP Writing Institute.

2.  I am not choosing my most favorite book for my mentor text because I am going to read it OVER and OVER and OVER as we study and write. It has to be a high quality book, but that may not be the newest book.  Instead, I am opting for the book that has clear instructional points that works for the writers.

3. I am considering the interests of my students.  I am NOT choosing a mentor text because I LOVE it.  Instead, I am choosing a book that has content that the students will relate to – be a part of their lives – to increase their own belief in their ability to “write just like this author in this book”.

*    *    *    *

I am going to ask you to pause for a few minutes and go read Shana Frazin’s Blog post titled ‘“Have You Read . . .?” The Art of Recommending Books’

Please, GO read it now!  Click on that blue link above.  You can always come back by using the “back arrow”!

And did you subscribe to the blog so you can continue to read about talk and its power for literacy?

Shana’s post was about the qualities that you would discuss when choosing texts and how you might teach this to students.

I’ve been asked at least three times to post “lists” of books that we worked with at TCRWP this week.  A list does follow.  But here’s the “instructional piece” (and yes, I know you HATE when I do that!)!

  • You need to know your students.  They may not love a book you recommend and ever worse, may not love a book that I love.
  • I work with teachers K- 12. Not all books will be appropriate for all grade levels.
  • I may have left titles off the list because I already own those books.  This list began as my “wish list” and is therefore my “wish to purchase” list!


  • All of the trade books that came with the grade level Writing Units of Study.  Here is the link at Heinemann to the K pack and you can find the others by grade level as well.
  • Shana’s 10 Books of the Month for 2015-16 slideshare
  • My Spring Robin – Rockwell
  • Charley’s First Night – Hest
  • Owl Moon – Yolen
  • Kiss Good Night – Hess
  • Short Cut – Crews
  • Goal! – Javaherbin
  • “Let’s Get a Pup!” said Kate. – Gordan
  • Z is for Moose – Bingham/Zelinski
  • One Green Apple – Bunting
  • Salt in His Shoes – Deloris Jordan
  • Lunch – Naomi Nye
  • Yard Sale – Bunting
  • Neighborhood Sharks – Roy

Happy Reading!

What book do you believe should also be on this list?

4 responses

  1. […] What is a Mentor Text? Are all books mentor texts? Should all books be in the pool of mentor texts? 1. All books that are read aloud to students are NOT, especially for this blog post, considered m…  […]

  2. […] I read another Blog post from Fran which addressed Mentor […]

  3. […] I’ve written about mentor texts here, here, here, here, and […]

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