Must Read Mentor Text

Today I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties for this:

I love teaching writing and getting kids to love writing themselves. But many times, I hear kids say, "I don't have anything to write about!" It is incredibly important for us to spend time at the beginning of the year helping students gather possible topics for writing.

One of my favorite ways to gather ideas is by sharing a mentor text. I love to use this one, because every student can relate and have a story to tell.

After we read, we brainstorm a list in our writer's notebooks of times we got in trouble.

I model with my writer's notebook, then give kids time to make their own lists. After that, each kid shares an idea they wrote. I make sure to model adding to my list after being inspired by a student's sharing. Then we take time to do a quick-write about just one of the ideas. Then students gather in groups of 2-3 and share their writing.

This isn't the only time we work on gathering ideas for our writer's notebooks, but it is one of the kids' favorites. This entry is often the one they select for their first full process writing piece.

It is so incredibly important to write and share along with your students. It helps create a community of writers in your classroom. You won't believe the risks your kids will take if you are ready to take the same risks alongside them.

Now, go check out all the other great ideas in the Collaboration Cuties linky!


  1. NO David books always make me laugh. :) My husband's name is David and I am sure he was just like him! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners
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  2. I never thought about using this book to brainstorm ideas for our notebook...thanks for sharing!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. I have never thought of using this to generate seed ideas either! This is a great idea!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  4. Agreed! Great book for teaching ideas, plus... who doesn't love David?!? :)
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  5. This is a great idea; thank you! Also, I will be co-teaching ESL in the fourth grade classroom this fall for the first time, so I look forward to following your blog posts! ~Deb
    Crafting Connections


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