You know the importance of using mentor texts when teaching author's craft to your young writers. But how do you- a busy teacher with only so many hours in a day - find great mentor texts? With so many children's books available and so little time to peruse them all, matching books to writers' workshop mini-lessons remains a challenge.
That challenge is met in I Can Write Like That! A Guide to Mentor Texts and Craft Studies for Writers' Workshop, K-6, an International Reading Association title by Susan Ehmann and Kellyann Gayer.
The excerpt above appears on the book's back cover, along with this:
In these pages you'll discover engaging fiction and nonfiction children's books and ideas for using them to their maximum potential as teaching tools. And you will find new ways to give your students a priceless gift - exemplary models for their own writing. Realize the reward of having your students listen to a well-written story then identify the author's craft and say, "I can write like that!"
Four years in the making, I Can Write Like That! serves as an invaluable resource if you're seeking to accomplish the following:
- Build a library of mentor texts;
- Uncover all that you can teach from each book in your growing mentor library, whether it be from an old favorite or a new discovery;
- Find the perfect mentor texts to teach specific craft elements; or
- Locate age-appropriate craft studies that support your writing curriculum and further serve as models as you develop craft studies of your own. (pp. 5, 6)
The straight-forward organization of the book allows teachers to easily locate exactly what they're looking for:
- Part I: Craft Elements provides detailed descriptions and teaching points for working with craft elements such as alliteration, breaking the rules, flashback, leads, personification, text features, and voice, a surprising twenty-seven craft elements in all.
- Part II: Selected Craft Study Lessons features sample lessons, providing teachers with models for their own instruction.
- Part III: Mentor Texts to Demonstrate Craft Elements contains an expansive matrix, aligning hundreds of new and classic picture books with the twenty-seven craft elements, followed by a through breakdown of these books by element (see figure to the right).
- Two Appendices feature student recording sheets and additional reading lists for teachers.