Mentor Text Madness--Day 1

Are all of these words rattling around in your head?  It is easy to get distracted with everything we have to do in those first few weeks of school. This time of year is perfect for reading mentor texts that will support Writer's Workshop throughout the year.  I like to read many, many picture books during those first few weeks of school to help break up the monotony of rules, regulations and procedures. I read the books for the pure pleasure of reading and listening.

The bonus?  Later in the year when you want to use one of those books for a writing mini-lesson, you can say, "Remember when we read this book?  Well today we're going to visit just a piece of it as we talk about...." 

This story is about two writers who conveniently live next door to each other.  Their dog and cat start to chase each other and each author begins the process of writing a book about the adventure.  This is a perfect book to demonstrate where authors get their ideas, the process they go through for writing and the challenges they face during editing.  Students love to hear this book and beg me to read all of the thought bubbles from the dog and cat.  We return to this book many times throughout the year when talking about the writing process.

This is a story of a little mouse who lives in the library and reads book after book every night.  One evening he decides to write a book of his own and tucks the tiny book onto the library shelf. He writes several more books and the librarian leaves him a note inviting him to a "Meet the Author" gathering to share his secrets to writing. The mouse is too shy to come to the gathering, but he sets up a box that says "Meet the Author".  When the children peer in to the box, they see themselves in a tiny mirror.  Next to the box are small blank books and pencils for everyone to try writing their own book!

I love to read this story and have tiny books all stapled and ready to go.  There is something magical about writing in a tiny book and I use one of the mini pocket charts from target to display our newest treasures!  How fun!


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