Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature K-6

I have had this book by for a few weeks now. I know I won't have time to read it cover to cover until summer, but I have spent a lot of time with it over the last few weeks and I wanted to share. MENTOR TEXTS by Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli is a great book for K-6 teachers who run a writing workshop. It is a big book--almost 300 pages. The authors know writing and they know books well. When I started writing workshop years ago, the two books that had the biggest impact on my teaching were WHAT A WRITER NEEDS by Ralph Fletcher and LASTING IMPRESSIONS by Shelley Harwayne. Both of these books helped me to see the power that books could have for the writers in my classroom. The authors of MENTOR TEXTS builds upon these same ideas and shares more ideas for using great literature as part of writing workshop.

Some things I like about the book:
The writing is amazing. You can tell that the two authors are great writers so, as a reader, I really trusted what they had to say about writing workshop.
The book is organized in ways that helped me think about books in different ways.
Samples from students and excerpts from children's books help us to see exactly what the authors are talking about when they share different texts.
Lots of lesson ideas are woven throughout the book.
An amazing book list shares lots of books that are current and provide a great resource for teacher.

I am really excited to spend more time with this book before next fall. I know that it is going to be one that is tabbed and marked up and that I will go back to it throughout the year. I am excited to discover new books and new ways to think about how they may help mentor the writers in our classroom.


  1. I bought this book a few weeks ago too and haven't had a chance to read it yet cover to cover, but can't wait to have the time! It looks great and I keep trying to find the time to read bits and pieces of it...my goal is to read it this week during my April vacation...hopefully I can achieve that goal along with reading all the other books in my "to read" pile.

  2. This is definitely one of those books that we'll all be buying those Post-It Flags for!!!


  3. I would love to read this too. I have the Fletcher book and I love it. Have you read Lucy Calkins books too?

  4. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Yes, I've read Calkins too. Her work is great too. So much to read and so much to pull together but I love this kind of work on writing. I've learned so much from all of them.

  5. Thanks for another recommendation. I loved Fletcher's book and this one sounds like another one to add to my library.


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