Monday, January 20, 2014

Mentor Monday Linky

I'm joining my blogging buddy, Emily @ The Reading Tutor OG, for her first ever Mentor Monday Linky.  This week the topic is using mentor texts for personal narrative writing, specifically for developing ideas from small, memorable moments.

We use the writer's workshop model by Lucy Caulkins in our school.  I simply love her writing lessons!  One of my favorite books to use for teaching students how to narrow their focus is The Snowy Day  by Ezra Jack Keats.  

The Snowy Day is perfect for introducing "Small Moment" writing because most students (especially where I live) can identify with having a snow day (we've had a lot of them lately).  

After reading the story, we discuss the big idea, smaller topic, and seed moment and record them on a chart.  Students quickly see how we keep narrowing the topic to zero in on the small, memorable moment.  (I use this chart idea from Kelley @ Buggy for Learning).

Buggy for Learning
Then we brainstorm all the things we do on a snow day that would be considered small moments. 
  • make snow angels
  • catch snowflakes on our tongues
  • go sledding
  • make a snowman
  • build an igloo
  • have a snowball fight
Finally, we think of our own small moment ideas for writing and post them on our chart.  We read them one by one and decide if they are "watermelons", "slices", or "seeds".  Don't you just love this chart?  It's from Colleen @ Totally Terrific in Texas.
Totally Terrific in Texas
I found these posters and the corresponding graphic organizer for small moment writing at Fit to Be Fourth on TPT.  You may want to grab a copy for yourself.  It's the perfect complement to this lesson. :)

Fit to Be Fourth {Freebie}
Do you have a favorite book that you like to use to introduce Small Moment Writing?  I'd love for you to share it.  Hop on over to visit Emily @ The Reading Tutor OG and link up your ideas.  


  1. I love this post!! I used to have an image of a watermelon and a seed packet both taped on tongue depressors. I would say a title of a story and students would have to determine whether it was a huge watermelon topic or seed idea. When I saw your freebies you found I was so excited! They're perfect!! Thank you so much for linking up!
    Emily, TRT/OG

  2. Great linky! I had to join it too. I LOVE all Donald Crews books! You have such helpful and attractive chart ideas for Watermelon vs Seed stories. I'll be using them next year for sure.
    That First Grade Blog

  3. What a great post. That is a great book! Thanks for including the links to the freebies. Those are going to be super helpful!
    Curious Firsties