As we watch the video clip, I use the column notes page to the right. Students are given text examples and asked to share what they think about the example. They make inferences about the characters and plot, and we discuss the author’s word choice and style. The goal with this part is to help students observe (and hopefully imitate) the author’s writing style later in their own work. We know students who are avid readers are typically strong writers too.
So far, I’ve talked about the reading process, but now it’s time for the writing process. During the writing block, I refer back to our reading lessons and what the students observed in the text. We work through the five steps in the writing process.
For this book, I had my students write a story from the point of view of a turkey and tell how they were able to escape being roasted. The kids came up with the funniest arguments…too stringy, haven’t had a bath in a long time, feathers are tough to remove, my meat is tough, and I have a loving family that will miss me are just a few of them. They practiced using dialogue and really focused on plot development. One student, who really struggled with reading, was completely into this assignment, and her final product was the best piece I saw from her in two years. (and I wish I had a photo of it to share). Here is a glimpse of the plan my students used to begin thinking through their story.
These units includes all of the materials you need for both reading and writing. As an added bonus, I created a partner script on this theme too called Tom’s Lucky Day which works well as an example of what the students will be writing. The characters in it are a farmer and Tom Turkey. However, students may choose a turkey and a fox or a turkey and a hunter,etc. This set could be used in a Daily Five set up or during the guided reading segment of your schedule. You can check out both units using the previews below. Both sets are bundled at a reduced rate.
During our language arts blocks, teaching critical thinking is a big task, and by using mentor text lessons, we move our students to the upper levels of Bloom’s as they analyze the text and their writing.
Earlier last month, I helped organize a mentor text blog hop for fall with other literacy bloggers. Those FREE lessons are all pinned to the Pinterest board below. Some lessons are for comprehension strategies only or for writing, but they will give you additional ideas (and resources) to try out.