Whole-Class Reading Instruction: Mentor Texts and Storia

Tips for using children's literature in Storia to inspire and support your students' writing

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Many teachers use high-quality children’s literature to inspire and support their students’ writing. These mentor texts help students succeed as writers by showing (rather than telling) the attributes of effective writing. Using Storia e-books will support and extend your ability to use mentor texts for writing instruction. 

The Benefits of Teaching With Mentor Texts

  • Mentor texts exemplify high-quality writing. These texts often have specific features or traits that support your instructional focus.
  • Mentor texts demonstrate the skills that real writers use. While teachers should use examples of their own writing and of excellent student writing as model text, it is often equally or more effective to use published work for mentor texts. 
  • Mentor texts are engaging enough to revisit several times throughout the school year and still hold students’ interest.
  • Excellent mentor texts can serve as examples for more than one writing strategy. These texts are often introduced as a read-to-me and then revisited for other instructional purposes. 

Using Storia E-Books as Mentor Texts 

  • Storia e-books can be projected onto your interactive whiteboard so all your students can read along with and closely examine the mentor text. Students are more likely to notice an author’s craft when they can see the enlarged text, and don't have to rely on just hearing the text read aloud. 
  • When using nonfiction e-books as mentor texts, you might want to focus on a section or even just a single page.  By sharing the mentor text on a large screen, you can direct your students to focus on the most relevant portions of the book.
  • Picture e-books make particularly good mentor texts. Their shorter format allows you to read the book in one sitting and enables you to focus on targeted portions of the text. 
  • It’s good practice for students to take notes when reviewing a mentor text. They can write examples of language they particularly liked, new words, or ideas they got from the text.

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    Teacher Tips and Strategies, Teacher Training and Continuing Education, Teaching with Technology