10 Mentor Texts for Young (and Older!) Authors

by NJCTE board member Oona Abrams (originally posted on her blog, ELA in Permanent Beta)

OA 1

Picture books are such an enjoyable avenue for teaching fiction and nonfiction writing. After attending Pernille Ripp’s session on the power of picture books for all grade levels at #NerdCampMI, I realized that as a high school teacher, I, too, can use picture books meaningfully to teach my students. Tone and irony are tough to teach in isolation, but if we want our students to write clever and original stories, they’ll need to appreciate and practice how these skills are executed. Below is a list of picture books that my kids enjoyed thoroughly this year, and that I believe could be used to coach writers and use as examples. Happy reading and writing!

OA 2 I Wanna Iguana by Karen Orloff. Great for teaching: argument, letter writing, point of view.

 

 

 

 

OA 3Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker. Great for teaching: point of view, irony, tone.

 

 

 

 

OA 4Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Great for teaching: story mountain, irony, foreshadowing.

 

 

 

 

OA 5Snapsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!) by Julie Falatko. Great for teaching: point of view, tone.

 

 

 

 

 

OA 6

 

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett. Great for teaching: writing process, revision, point of view, irony.

 

 

 

 

OA 7Dylan the Villain by K.G. Campbell. Great for teaching: point of view, suspension of disbelief, irony.

 

 

 

 

OA 8Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big by Chris Paul. Great for teaching: process analysis, point of view.

 

 

 

 

 

OA 9Manners Are Not for Monkeys! by Heather Tekavec. Great for teaching: irony, point of view, suspension of disbelief.

 

 

 

OA 11How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget. Great for teaching: process analysis, irony, point of view.

 

 

 

OA 12

 

Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild by Katie Cotton. Great for teaching: repetition, description, research.

 

 

 

New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English

10 Mentor Texts for Young (and Older!) Authors

One thought on “10 Mentor Texts for Young (and Older!) Authors

  1. I love this suggestion. I always found that my high school, college, and graduate school students responded well to children’s literature. I often used “Knots on a Counting Rope” during my final class in an graduate level foundations in education course. I used the book to underscore the power of the stories we shared as we learned together in the course.

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