Posts in Mentor Texts
4 Mini-Lessons for Teaching Suspense Writing

I love teaching students the skill of writing suspense during the spooky Halloween season. This is a great time for introducing suspenseful mentor texts and writing suspenseful narratives. I love having students read spooky tales in preparation for writing their own spooky tales. My three favorite mentor texts for this purpose is “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs, and “Cemetery Path” by Leonard Q. Ross. After we explore these great exemplar texts in early October, I then begin teaching mini-lessons on three different techniques for creating suspense in a piece of writing.

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FIVE Unique Valentine's Day Lessons to Target Essential Skills in Secondary Classes

Valentine's Day provides an opportunity during the month of February to focus on one of the most powerful topics in literature and art:  LOVE.  Love is as polarizing as the Valentine's Day holiday itself: some love it, and some hate it.  Nonetheless...

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The First Step in the Writing Process is READING! Using Mentor Texts to Teach Writing

Understanding the many nuances of great writing can seem like a daunting challenge for teachers and students alike. As educators, we are aware of the strong correlation between good reading skills and good writing skills. This is because students are absorbing the author’s craft as they explore amazing works of literature. This knowledge has given rise to the popularity of mentor texts within the ELA classroom.

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Daily Writing Prompts to Inspire New Ideas

TeachWriting.org has announced a new writing workshop endeavor for the 2017-2018 school year. This year, the collaborators at TeachWriting are creating DAILY WRITING PROMPTS via their Facebook Page for English teachers in grades 6-12. 

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Poetry for Writing Workshop in Grades 6-12:  10+ Devices & Poems to Model Them all!

"To be a poet is a condition, not a profession." -- Robert Frost

You may find yourself in agreement with Frost's famous quote when it comes to teaching poetry in the secondary classroom.  However, love it or hate it, poetry can play a helpful role in teaching students how to write!  Famous poems can serve as mentor texts for students and showcase key literary and rhetorical devices in action.  

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