||Mentor Texts: Picture Book Lessons, Grades 3-12
demonstration lessons shared at the NNWP's teacher workshops
Have you seen WritingFix's complete bibliography page?
Click here to access our resource page that shows every picture book and chapter book for which WritingFix has lessons and prompts! WritingFix receives a small donation from Amazon for each book purchased through our bibliography page. Help us keep WritingFix free-to-use by using the links we've placed on this page to place your Amazon order. Thank you in advance for supporting WritingFix in this way.
How did this page of quality lessons come about? In 2005, WritingFix and the Northern Nevada Writing Project received a generous grant that helped begin the very popular lesson collection you will find on this page. The generous $25,000 AT&T Grant, acquired with the help of the Washoe Education Foundation, allowed us to design and host a very different kind of inservice class for 100 Northern Nevada teachers, and that inservice made possible this page.
Members of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Technology Team created and demonstrated eight brand new picture book lessons to the first 100 teachers who signed up; they then gave away 100 copies of each of the picture books so that class participants could teach any of the lessons back in their classrooms. At the inservice's end, each of the 100 participants brought in a different picture book to share, and each wrote a brief proposal for a 6-trait lesson inspired by their books. The best of those proposals became the lessons you can find on this page.
Our Picture Book Inservice continues in Northern Nevada. Each year, the NNWP offers a variation of the original 2005 Picture Book inservice. Instead of giving away picture books (since the grant is exhausted), we give to all class participants a copy of the NNWP's awesome print resource--The Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide (pictured at right). Our picture book inservice remains highly popular, and each year we try to add up to four new lessons here from the most recent class's participants.
"Your [Picture Books] inservice is--by far--the most valuable class I have ever taken as a teacher. Thank you for making me re-examine the way I talk about picture books with my students!" (Stacy D., elementary teacher)
"All of the presenters were wonderful. The lessons and books they shared were awesome, and I will be using their ideas in my classroom. Thanks for a wonderful experience!" (Nancy T., middle school teacher)
"As a high school teacher, I wasn't sure how much I would get much out of this class. You proved to me that picture books can be the inspiration for great high school mini lessons on writing." (Janet J., high school teacher)
Student samples being sought for every lesson on this page: Please enjoy (and adapt!) the free-to-use lessons on this page, and please share them with your colleagues. If you notice we're missing a student sample of a certain grade level, we want to hear from you. Each lesson features a link where you can freely post up to three samples from your classroom. We send a free copy of one of the NNWP's Print Resources to teachers who send us samples that we can post at each of the lessons.
A Discussion Prompt for Teachers Using this Page during Collaborative Professional Development: We have come to believe in the importance of incorporating a great mentor text into a writing. A mentor text is a published piece of writing whose idea, whose structure, or whose written craft can be analyzed andd discussed as a means of inspiring their own writing. During our teacher workshops, we help our participants understand these three purposes of a mentor text. Here is a link to a Powerpoint slideshow used by one of our trainers, Corbett Harrison; it explains the three categories of mentor texts we ask our teachers to think about. As you explore the lessons posted on this page--alone or with colleagues--here are two discussion questions to help you think about these lessons' design: "Is the mentor text being used to inspire an idea, a structure, or a craft skill from student writers? What's an additional mentor text that you might incorporate into the already-written lesson that would add another opportunity for students to think about ideas, structures, or writing skills?"