Reflection: Lesson Planning Learning Craft and Content Using Mentor Texts - Section 4: Guided Practice: Analyzing Mentor Texts For Craft


This lesson is not just an introduction to the unit, but also to one of the most important aspects of my classroom, and that is the use of mentor texts. If I want my students to be better writers and I need to show them what good writing is, and more importantly, why it's good writing. The Common Core stresses that students need the skills to become more effective writing, and in the case of narrative writing, they need to "develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences." How can they do this unless I show them the way writers have done that? When I can show them how real writers write, they understand why these skills are important. In today's lesson, if they can see why this is an example of an effective personal narrative and how the writer uses various craft techniques, they can begin to internalize it for their own writing.

Using mentor texts can't be done just once or twice. Students need to read many examples of different mentor texts and the best time to do that, at least in my experience, is in the beginning of the unit so they really understand what the genre is before the begin to do it on their own.

  Using Mentor Texts
  Lesson Planning: Using Mentor Texts
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Learning Craft and Content Using Mentor Texts

Unit 8: Personal Narrative/Memoirs: Reading and Analyzing Mentor Texts
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: SWBAT understand the differences between craft and content in personal narratives using "Fences."

Big Idea: Learning how to analyze personal narratives: the difference between what the piece is about and how it's written

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4 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Mentor Texts, personal narratives, narrative, Metaphor
  43 minutes
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