My students at Lincoln Land Community College, know the value of reading mentor texts. Students in my classroom read for pleasure becoming proficient readers. Through daily reading, freshman learn how to write and make improvements with their writing.
Mentor texts can be used in a variety of ways for all students and writers. Mentor texts become powerful models to inspire students and writers.
There are times when I share direct instruction to guide students and model for them good writing elements and what to look for.
"Let's look at what real writers are doing. Let's see how
we can learn from these writers."
Ralph Fletcher, Author
A shorter reading passage can be used as a mentor text to focus students' attention with a mini-lesson.
|I picked these flowers for you |
from my 2018 garden.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Here's an example of a mini-lesson using direct instruction along with what I might say . . .
Today's lesson includes author's word choice. Let's read, and look for word choices made by the author on these two pages.
Now reread. This time as you read, jot down and write as you answer these questions:
1. Do you note active verbs?
2. What word did the author chose? Think of a synonym that may work.
3. Did you find interesting figurative language, such as a metaphor?
I don't always require students to focus on a particular concept, such as word choice. Some lessons are less structure, allowing students to discover what is working in a piece of writing. As an educator, I must encourage higher order thinking through the six steps of Bloom's Taxonomy [there are several variations of Bloom's Taxonomy--a cognitive development tool]. The highest level of learning takes place is through evaluating. To do so, students are judging the value of the material being read for a given purpose.
Click on the link again and you'll note active verbs used by students for this learning outcome: evaluate, appraise, assess, compare, and so forth.
"Every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning
you are, encounters and reads something that can
lift and inform and infuse their own writing."
Ralph Fletcher, Author
Writers and readers use mentor texts to discover why writers are successful. Reading and examining books as model texts encourages readers and writers to become better at the craft of writing.
Mentor texts are powerful tools--books that students and writers can learn from, glean from and eventually affects your writing in positive ways.
There are numerous methods for reading and examining mentor texts to support students and writers.
I'll share a mini-lesson on the Book Head Heart Reading Framework.
The BHH model was developed by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. They are the authors of DISRUPTING THINKING WHY HOW WE READ MATTERS.
"What do we mean by Book, Head, and Heart?
This is a simply a short, telegraphic phrase to suggest
that we need to pay attention to the text, to our thoughts about it,
and to what we feel and how we might have changed,
no matter how slightly, as a result of reading."
Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst
The BHH framework is a great tool for students and writers to stop, notice, and note.
|DISRUPTING THINKING |
WHY HOW WE READ MATTERS
Reading carefully requires a certain amount of stamina, concentration, and patience. There are moments when a reader needs to slow down and ask what is working and what isn't.
Open up a mentor text and read it. Now read the story for a second time--better yet, read it aloud. Consider using the BHH Reading Framework. Find several ideas that can be used as a take-away to make your own writing polished and satisfying.
Next month as you participate in ReFoReMo, with coordinators and contributors, embrace mentor texts in a way that makes room for your meaning to improve your writing.
Check out these Picture books by Ralph Fletcher