Nonfiction Mentor Texts

Teaching Informational Writing Through Children's Literature, K-8

In their first book, Mentor Texts (now in its second edition), Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli demonstrated how teachers can use children's literature to guide and inspire student writers of narrative fiction and poetry. Now they have turned their focus to nonfiction, identifying a wide range of mentor texts and showing how these models illustrate the key features of good writing.

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Description

In their first book, Mentor Texts (now in its second edition), Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli demonstrated how teachers can use children's literature to guide and inspire student writers of narrative fiction and poetry. Now they have turned their focus to nonfiction, identifying a wide range of mentor texts and showing how these models illustrate the key features of good writing.

Lynne and Rose guide teachers through a variety of projects, samples, and classroom anecdotes that demonstrate how teachers can help students become more effective writers of good nonfiction. The "Your Turn" lessons at the end of each chapter use the gradual release of responsibility model to guide and empower student writers. Teachers will find especially helpful the information on how to select appropriate mentor texts from among the sometimes overwhelming offerings of children's literature. Each "Your Turn" lesson encourages reflection and motivates students to think about what they've learned, the purpose of learning and practicing a skill or strategy, and how they might use this technique in the future. Additionally, "An Author's Voice" provides encouragement and advice from published authors of children's nonfiction.

One of the most valuable features of Nonfiction Mentor Texts is the treasure chest of books organized according to chapter. This list includes every title mentioned in the book, as well as a host of other titles that teachers can use to help students learn about quality nonfiction writing—building content, organizing text, developing voice, enhancing style, using punctuation effectively—and from which students can draw topic ideas. Lynne and Rose have either read or used all of the featured books in their classrooms and have selected titles that meet the needs of students at varying levels. Teachers will be able to find the just-right book for each student.

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About the Author(s)

Lynne Dorfman is a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project where she serves on the blog team.

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Rose comes from a family of musicians and teachers, both of which have greatly influenced her life. A volunteer job in high school led her to pursue work with hearing- and language-impaired children.

Table of Contents

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Foreword by Tony Stead
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1: The Value of Nonfiction: Imagining the Possibilities
Chapter 2: Establishing the Topic and Point
Chapter 3: Building Content
Chapter 4: Introductions and Conclusions
Chapter 5: Writing to Persuade
Chapter 6: Nonfiction Writing in the Real World (and Other Interesting Formats to Engage Student Writers)
Chapter 7: Voice, Syntax, and Conventions in Nonfiction
Chapter 8: A Treasure Chest of Books
Afterword
References
Index

Product Details

Grade Range: K-8
Media: 304 pp/paper
Year: 2009
Item No: 0496
ISBN: 978-157110-496-0

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