Monday, March 17, 2014

Mentor Texts for Writing Ideas

I'm joining my blogging buddy, Carla @ The Reading Tutor OG, for the Mentor Monday Linky. Carla is a guest blogger today, while Emily enjoys time with her precious newborn baby girl. :)
This week the topic is using mentor texts to wake up writing with wonderful ideas.

Ideas make up the content of a piece of writing, the heart of the message.  Writers develop ideas in a several ways:
  • They choose fresh, original ideas.
  • They write about something that matters to them.
  • They narrow their topic and get specific.
  • They develop their idea by adding interesting information.
  • They make their idea come to life with juicy details.
However, sometimes writers have difficulty getting started.  They get stuck trying to select an idea that motivates them to write.
Heart Map {Freebie} created by 3rd Grade Grid Iron
Invite writers to create Heart Maps.  Students fill in their heart maps with things they love: interests, hobbies, sports, people and places that are close to their hearts, etc. Anytime students need inspiration, they refer back to their heart maps.

Mentor Text for Writing Ideas:
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter

A few years ago I came across a book that is perfect for encouraging students to push past writer's block.  In the book, Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street, Eva's neighbors offer her advice as she struggles to come up with a good writing topic.  

After reading the story with students, we record the neighbors' advice on chart paper.  Then students use the advice to develop their own stories.

What books have you found helpful for waking up writing with wonderful ideas?  I'd love to know.  Leave a comment or link up with The Reading Tutor OG to share your thoughts.  :)

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

  1. I have seen this book on "great mentor texts for teaching writing" lists but I have never picked it up and read I am seriously regretting that! I would've loved to use it when I taught 4th grade (that's the first year my kids take a standardized WRITING test). I will have to grab a copy to keep in my Mentor Text crate :)