#SOL16: Chatting about Mentor Texts

#TWTBlog  had these questions for their #Twitter Chat about “Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts”. Were you there?  Which questions/answers really helped you grow in your thinking about mentor texts?

Twtblog 5.9.16 chat mentor texts

This chat was a culmination of a week long series about Mentor Texts and in case you missed it, here are the links:

“Tuesday, May 3: Reading Like a Writer, Step-By-Step by Elizabeth Moore (that’s me!)

Wednesday, May 4: Student-Written Mentor Texts by Deb Frazier

Thursday, May 5: How to Choose and Mine Mentor Texts for Craft Moves by Stacey Shubitz

Friday, May 6: Digital Mentor Texts for Blogs by Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski

Saturday, May 7: Create Your Own Text by Dana Murphy

Sunday, May 8: When to Use Mentor Texts by Betsy Hubbard” (5/9/16 link)

Previously I’ve written about mentor texts here, here, here, here, and here.

So why on earth am I writing about Mentor Texts again?  

Well, there are whole books about Mentor Texts that include ten of my favorites below and Stacey Shubitz’s Craft Moves:  Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts that will ship from Stenhouse in June of 2016! (You can purchase it here.) And I was just lucky enough, with my friend, Melanie Meehan, to win a FREE copy last night as a participant in the chat!

So, if I have 10 of these 11 books (soon to be 11 of 11) about Mentor Texts, why am I writing about them again?

I know that it’s a total shock to some of my readers, but I must admit that I am a bibliophile. There are very few books that I’ve met that are NOT my immediate friends (except for the fantasy, scifi, vampire type books that I often just AVOID)!

Collecting samples of mentor texts has been helpful in my study of the craft of writing. Each of these books leads me to other authors, books, and even publishers that allow me to deepen my knowledge of author’s craft.  I’ve been a writer, off and on, for decades.  But during that writing time, I have NOT always studied writing.  Instead I was playing at writing and sometimes only “practicing” writing.  I trusted the authors above to choose texts that would surely be magical mentors for either myself or my students.

Recently my study of writing has been more reflective and my goal has been to define the elements that work (as well as WHY) and YET sometimes I STILL totally miss the mark! The books above provided a safety net because I did NOT trust my own judgement of mentor texts. I knew there was no “magic list” and YET I still thought there was often something magical about these books that FAMOUS AUTHORS had placed on their lists of Mentor Texts. Reading through their choices was like Intro to Mentor Texts 101. I could see what they chose and why and try to imitate that.

What did I learn from tonight’s chat?

The chat was just like “Field of Dreams” . . . “Build it and they will come!”

Stars on the Twitter Red Carpet #TWTBlog included:

  • Ralph Fletcher
  • Lynne Dorfman
  • Rose Cappelli
  • Ruth Culham
  • Kim Yaris
  • Jan Miller Burkins
  • Lisa Eickholdt
  • Shana Frazin
  • Cornelius Minor
  • Emily Butler Smith
  • Dr. Mary Howard
  • Tara Smith
  • Catherine Flynn
  • Melanie Meehan
  • Jessie Miller
  • Leigh Anne Eck
  • Lisa Keeler
  • Margaret Simon
  • TWT Team – Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, and Stacey

But here are a couple of my favorite tweets that I am still thinking about in response to Q5) “Why are teacher-written mentor texts important? How do you use them?” . . .

power of mentor text

power of mentor text two

and this all important one from Dana on Q1 about reading mentor texts:


The conversations last night were rich. I will be reviewing the storify as I know I missed some. And like any great texts, some tweets will need to be revisited!

Who are your writing mentors?

What are your favorite mentor texts?

How would we know?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, and Stacey. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thank you for this weekly forum!

28 responses

  1. I too have many of the books you have highlighted in your post. Currently, I am reading Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write. I love it! Thanks for the recap of the Twitter Chat. I’m disappointed I didn’t chime in. ~Amy

    1. LOVE Kate Messner’s 59 Reasons to Write. The limitations of key word search! So many GRAND conversations last night!

  2. dianeandlynne | Reply

    Fran, thank you for sharing your experience with the twitter chat and for sharing your list of books too! I wish I had participated.

    1. Next best thing is reading the storify. YOWSA! Some amazing words of wisdom!

  3. Thanks, Fran, for this wonderful post. It was a great surprise for me to find all these wonderful books on my favorite subject, mentor texts, here on your blog. I was grateful for the opportunity to participate last night. My head was spinning – as I was fashioning my comment, the twitter feed notified me that 8, then 10, then 14 tweets had been sent! Talk was flying through the air faster than I could manage it all and will return to read everything later today. An incredible crowd of colleagues on #TWTBlog! I cannot wait for Stacey’s new book! Also, wanted to tell you that Rosie and I are currently revising Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature for a second edition for Stenhouse Publishers. Should be out in 2017!

    1. Lynne,
      So happy that you are revising your text! Last night was a perfect “Who’s Who in Mentor Texts”. I’m rereading the storify now, but am only on Q2. I will have to pack a lunch in order to get it all read!

      Such an important topic!!!

  4. Thanks Fran. Sadly I did miss it but SO happy that your blog post today makes it so easy to read and then revisit it in the future. Can’t wait for school to end so I can return to your blog and learn, thanks to YOU!!

    1. Sally,
      Will you be at TC this summer? Cannot believe it’s mid-May already!

      You are so welcome! I’m always learning from you!

  5. I love learning from you! Sadly those darn time zones prevented me from participating, but I look forward to the archive. I am another one not trusting my own judgement in mentor text selection, so love to hear from the experts too. I agree- the experts are often in our classrooms!

    1. Erika,
      Darn time zones indeed; I hope you enjoy the archive. I had to stop at Q2 for a silly thing called work. So many places to find experts!!! We just need to keep our eyes open!

  6. Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, Fran. Last night’s chat was fun, but I, too missed so much. Can’t wait to go back and reread everything today. Twitter chats are like being on a caffeine high! Everything moves so quickly.

    1. Rose,
      It was a fabulous chat with much to think about! No leisurely saunter – ready, set, race!

  7. That was such an energizing chat! Loved being part of it. And like you I wrote about it today!

    1. Lisa,
      I’m going to have to read your post! YAY! 🙂

    2. Yes, a bit frantic at time as it was fast-paced but so thrilling to have tweets “liked” by Ralph Fletcher!!! OMG – love the accessibility of so many authors who are willing to interact with teachers, readers, and writers! ,3

  8. Mentor texts informed my teaching and my coaching all through the years. I’ve been writing more & more poetry, and so turn then to what poets do, and how. It sounds like a wonder of a chat, so glad that you all enjoyed the time together learning. Thanks for sharing about it, Fran.

    1. Linda,
      I love mentor texts in poetry – so helpful when exploring different formats and “trying out” new ideas. Amazing learning from Twitter chats!

  9. This is definitely an impressive list of books, Fran. I am not on Twitter and don’t know the first thing about tweeting. People keep telling I need to go there. This sure doen make a strong case for joining the Twitter world.

    1. Read through the storify link just to capture the ideas there. No better advertisement than that! Link = nhttps://storify.com/BethMooreSchool/teaching-writing-with-mentor-texts?utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&utm_campaign=&utm_source=direct-sfy.co&utm_content=storify-pingback&awesm=sfy.co_c10ig

  10. Great post, Fran! I’m always interested in what teachers are doing in their classrooms. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are welcome, Lisa! So much happens on purpose, some accidentally . . . working on MORE intentionality! 🙂

  11. Thanks so much for joining us last night and for sharing your thoughts about the Twitter Chat today. I’m so honored you’ll be reading my book. (I didn’t know Stenhouse was going to give away copies of it last night. Glad you got one!) I can’t wait to find out what you think about its applications for the classroom.

    1. Stacey,
      I LOVE that Stenhouse is going to send me an “Autographed” copy of your book! That’s even more special! I’m excited to see the lessons that you wrote!

      It was an amazing chat. I’m looking forward to time to finish reading the storify. Some parts of the chat LITERALLY flew by!

      So much love for how #TWT has helped me personally and profesionally as a writer and a teacher of writers!!! ❤

  12. That was fun, wasn’t it?! So many great ideas shared and explored.

    1. Tara,
      So much fun. And I so appreciated your docs sharing picture books and chapter books for mentor writing. I’ve not tried putting book cover pics into a doc but those looked so nice. I’m so into “that white cover and yes – author is. . . as I call it ‘Think Time’ when it’s really just too darn many good books to remember! ❤

  13. This is a great recap, Fran! I missed the beginning of the chat, so am looking forward to reading through the Storify archive. I can’t wait to read Stacey’s new book!

    1. Me, too! Did not get to finish the archives last night so I’m extending the chat buzz for another day!!! And Stacey’s book – oh, yes! Waiting is so hard!

  14. […] (If you need last names, you can check them out in this post!) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

My Zorro Circle

it is what it is

Steph Scrap Quilts

"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Literacy Leaders Connecting Students and Books

Dr. Carla Michelle Brown * Speaker * author * Educator

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.com

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers


adventures in multiple tenses

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

%d bloggers like this: