Friday, November 03, 2006

Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Fridays are about mentor text. Up to this point, I have shared picture books and chapter books that can be read aloud as examples of good writing for students. Read alouds work with every age group(even adults!). Listening to the ebb and flow of words, the voice of the author paints pictures for us and inspires us to write.

But I’ve come to realize that many teachers of writing aren’t sure what I mean when I talk about mentor text. I’ve written about it before and from my conversations with teachers I started this whole Friday gig, but folks don’t seem to know what do to with the information. I’ve been following NYC Teachersince she kindly visited me and left me feverishly searching Amazon for a book on disconnecting(still watching the mailman for that delivery!!)

Here is a sample of how mentor texts work in her classroom:

A.So. couldn't believe that "My Side of the Story" was from a book called FIRST FRENCH KISS. She almost fell over in disgust.

Anyway, when we got past that, I started typing as she read her piece "The Throw-Away Cereal" to me aloud. There was so much that sounded like Bagdasarian in her piece. She included the smacks, just like Bagdasarian did in his story. The style was extremely conversational. I loved her piece.

I showed her my most recent personal narrative. She decided to emulate me and write in italics for her internal thinking.

She used * * * * * to show time passing like Patricia MacLachlan, instead of using a long ------------------ like Bagdasarian.

One thing I have to help A.So. with is writing her personal narratives in a consistent tense, like past tense. I need to find some mentor texts to help me do that.

Now this is powerful use of writing! Yes – you too can write mentor text for students!! Yes – you should be writing!! Yes - you will need to keep reading and find mentor text to meet the needs of your of your classroom!! Writing teachers, we have some hard work in front of us!! But the result is worth the effort.

Thanks NYC Teacher for being our mentor this week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad I could help! LMK if you need anything else.