Mentor Texts and Why We Use Them

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Writing brings a love/hate relationship to many teachers.  Not that we do it on purpose, but many teachers push writing to the side.  Writing is something that doesn’t come easy to many young learners.  It can lead to a lot of frustration if it’s not modeled well.

If you’re in the same boat as a lot of teachers, don’t fret.  Writing takes time, but it also takes very good, solid modeling to create lifelong writers.  So, how do you start?  You’ve taught your students the basics of sentence writing, but how do you take them to the next level?  Two words.  Mentor. Texts.

The Benefits of Mentor Texts

Think of mentor texts as your students own little guide.  The number of books out there that can guide your students is unthinkable!  It just takes a little work on your part to search for the perfect books that model what you’re teaching.

The best ways I like to use mentor texts are:

  • to model beginning, middle and end
  • to show proper writing conventions (capital letters, punctuation, etc)
  • model how to use proper nouns
  • show how to draw a mental picture using sensory details and adjectives

Those are just some of the few great ways to use mentor texts.  Mentor texts can be used throughout all grade levels!

My Favorite Mentor Text

Ok…this is just one of my many favorites!  The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile is an adorable book that is full of great adjectives.  Each fish that the little boy and his dad catch is described in great detail, but it’s not the one they are looking for!  Your learners will see so many colorful, unique ways to describe the fish in this story.  Mentor texts for young learners do a great job with repetitive sentence structure and words.  This is another great reason why using authentic literature is so important when teaching the next stages of writing.

We are at that point in our learning where writing needs to be taken up a notch.  Our beach vacation is right around the corner and what a great way to get my learners excited!  You can grab this fun, mentor text writing activity for free when you click the link below!  Get this book and have some fun with the colorful and unique adjectives.  Then, your learner will imitate the author’s writing by creating their own unique fish!

Be sure to spend some time this summer reviewing for the next school year!  I’ve got you covered!

    • Get your kids pumped for the beach while learning at the same time!  My new Fun at the Ocean pack is full of summer review activities to keep that brain working!
    • Free activities are two of my favorite words!  Grab my Fourth of July freebie pack for a quick review that is centered towards the fun of the 4th!
    • Camping is one of our favorite family activities.  So I had to create some summer activities geared towards camping!


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