It can be difficult to find excellent mentor texts for young writers. It is easy to find beautiful, authored books in any genre we may like, but often these books seem unattainable to our young writers. They know that the language, words, and vocabulary is just out of their range, if not way out of their range. It is very important to use these beautiful examples. But it is equally important to put examples in their hands that show what we expect them to do.
I usually solve this conundrum by writing in front of my kids. I write my own stories in a way that I think they could reach. But recently I have decided to take it a step further. I have created some “mentor texts” for my how to unit that use the same paper that the kids use, use the same criteria that they use, and have the same expectations. These are now on my mentor texts shelves, right alongside the published authors. This sends a strong message to the writers in the room. I do have a set of “How To” mentor texts available in my TPT stores if you are looking for a place to start.
My next goal is to copy, save, and include student written examples from previous years. Always a goal!