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Traits of Writing Mentor Texts: Ideas

last modified on 03/17/2008

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The Six-Trait writing model, developed by Ruth Culham, is an effective way to teach and assess student writing. The picture books in this list can serve as mentor texts to teach students how to develop ideas.

Total: 9
Status: Public
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Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street

by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.9

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Comedy and Humor

Resources: Yes

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What do you do when you have nothing to write about?Take students on a tour of their school and have them brainstorm a list of topics they could possibly write on. Then have students decide on a topic, and write a story and illustration.

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So Far from the Sea

by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 2.8

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Have students predict the main idea of this book by viewing only the illustrations. This book also teaches a history lesson about World War II.

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The Hickory Chair

by Lisa Rowe Fraustino, illustrated by Benny Andrews

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Resources: Yes

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This book about the love between a blind boy and his grandmother will bring tears to your eyes. Use this book as a mentor text to model symbolism. Have students write about a symbol in their lives.

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The Honest-to-Goodness Truth

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Comedy and Humor, General Fiction

Resources: Yes

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This book addresses the serious topics of honesty and lying. Have students write a journal entry about why they think honesty is important. Encourage them to use personal examples.

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The Patchwork Quilt

by Valerie Flournoy, illustrated by Jerry Pinkey

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Resources: Yes

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A family's history is woven into a quilt in this book. Have your students design their own quilt squares incorporating math (mesurement, area, perimeter) and language arts (meaning).

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The Polar Express

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 4.9

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Adventure, Classics, Fables, Folk Tales and Myths

Resources: Yes

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Explore the ideas in this delightful book by having students detect details referring to imagery. You can also discuss the theme of this book.

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The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups

by David Wisniewski, illustrated by David Wisniewski

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 6.3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Comedy and Humor

Resources: Yes

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Have students identify interesting ideas in this book and discuss why they grab the reader's attention. Have students brainstorm their own list of rules they think are important and explain why.

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Through My Eyes

by Ruby Bridges, edited by Margo Lundell

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.6

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Autobiography, Biography and Autobiography, General Nonfiction

Resources: Yes

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This is the story of Ruby Bridges, a six-year old African American girl who integrated an all-white elementary school in 1960. Discuss with students what makes this autobiography informative and interesting. Is it the pictures, timelines, quotations or all of the above?

9780064431781_sm
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Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 3

Grade Level Equivalent: 4.4

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Bedtime Stories, Classics, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Fantasy

Resources: Yes

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Use this classic book as a mentor text to begin a unit on creative writing. Discuss imagination and creativity with students.

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