Writing Workshop Architecture Assessment Mentor Texts and Charts Sample Lessons
by Component
Sample Lessons
by Genre

“Here’s the secret of writing: there is no secret.” Fletcher

Click Here for Transcript of Video

Click Here for Transcript of Video

One of the most important things writing teachers can do is expose their students to strong examples of writing. If we want students to write quality pieces, they must first read quality pieces. With this idea in mind, writing experts suggest teachers spend several days at the start of every new unit exposing students to the upcoming genre by allowing them to read mentor texts. These mentor texts should include children’s literature and strong examples of student writing, or student mentor text (Eickholdt, 2015). This reading stage of the writing process is called immersion (Ray, 2006) and it provides students with a vision of what their writing might eventually look like.

In addition to using mentor texts in the immersion stage of the writing process, teachers will also want to use mentor texts to teach various writing techniques throughout the unit. From writing a compelling lead to creating a satisfying ending, mentor texts are extremely important to the teaching of writing.

We are happy to provide two video clips from South Carolina teachers demonstrating how they used mentor texts in their minilessons. The first clip in this module features Shannon using a piece of children’s literature as a mentor text. The second clip features Denise using a piece of student mentor text (enlarged using a poster maker). We encourage you to view these video clips and reflect on your own teaching.

We have also included examples of student mentor text in this module. Students are very inspired and motivated when they read and study other students’ writing (Eickholdt, 2015). It is our hope that you will find these mentor texts useful for teaching minilessons and supporting your work in conferences. You can search for student mentor texts by both genre and grade level. Please feel free to download the PDF files to use in your work.

(click on a link to view the section content of Mentor Texts)

Informational Texts (click here) Narrative Texts (click here) Opinion Texts (click here)
Kindergarten Kindergarten Kindergarten
First Grade First Grade First Grade
Second Grade Second Grade Second Grade


Suggested Readings
Facilitator Notes