Monday, July 27, 2015

Teaching Ideas with Mentor Text (Rocket Writes a Story)

Mentor texts are books that can be used to teach students the characteristics of good writing. They are books that inspire writers. They are books that inspire you, the teacher, to get excited about teaching writing!
I have chosen some great books to use as mentor texts, but before I reveal the first book, check out these 6+1 Traits of Writing posters! Click on the posters to download and print.

OK! Are you ready! So, here is the first book I will be recommending for the trait ideas. I chose this book because it's about a dog that is busy looking for ideas to write a story. Seemed perfect!
Rocket is a dog that collects words wherever he goes (kind of like our kiddos). If he likes a word, he writes it down and adds it to his collection. One day Rocket decides to write a story, but he has a difficult time coming up with an idea. Rocket's little friend tells him he should write about something that inspires him. And so he does. . .

As a mentor text, this book is a great resource for teaching ideas.

Ideas are just that, ideas. When we ask our children to write, we need them to come up with ideas. Those ideas may come from experiences, books they have read, movies they have seen. . .

So how do we get this across to students? We begin by telling them that when we write, we need an idea. Rocket chose an idea that inspired him. He chose an idea from something he knew about. 

Ask students: What are your ideas? What are things you can write about?
As an activity to tie to Rocket Writes a Story, have students write a list of ideas. These are things they can refer to when they're having trouble coming up with an idea. Also have the students write a collection of words (over time) to help them with their ideas. You can download My Word Collection book by clicking on the photo above.

I hope this gave you some ideas for teaching writing. Remember our little ones can't be expected to just write. They need the tools to get them there.

Check out these other posts:
Teaching Ideas with Mentor Text (Enemy Pie)
Teaching Ideas with Mentor Text (I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House)


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