Kindergarten Mentor Texts

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Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Using Mentor Texts in Kindergarten

September 29 Deedee 4 min read

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant’s Scarecrow book (affiliate link)… you bet!

This last week I had the pleasure of visiting a kindergarten classroom.  She had already started the book, Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant for her Guiding Readers/Close Read, so when she asked me to do a lesson on word choice… I could not contain my excitement.  This book is PERFECT for word choice (among other things.)

Reading Comprehension

As you know, in our Guiding Readers/Reading Comprehension units, the teacher does the decoding work and the students do the thinking work.  Each day of the week, we revisit the same book [in this case, Scarecrow], but we read it for a different purpose.  Within a few lessons, students start to take ownership of the thinking work they are asked to do.  This carries over to their own experiences with books.

Here are few examples from this kindergarten mentor text that students worked on.

Recalling Text Details

This is a book that does not really have a sequential order, so students we asked to recall details that were in the story or not in the story. Asking students to tune into the events and moments in the story is a life-long skill.   

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Character Analysis

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Everyone loves Scarecrow and his kind, gentle disposition!

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included! Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Making Connections

At this point of the year, many students are still making most of their meaning through their illustrations.

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

“I saw a sad scarecrow.”

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

“I read a book, Mad Scarecrow.”

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Craft

We also had fun putting this craft together (also in the units).

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

This one cracked me up… those FEET!  Ha!

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Writers Workshop

As I said, I was in her classroom for two days. She was looking for a way to move students away from “I like” stories.  So I started by modeling a lesson.  In this lesson, we shared the pen.  I wrote about my family and told the students that I could have written, “I like my family,” but I decided to try a different sentence that told more.  “We are outside on a sunny day.”  I modeled how it was okay to use invented spelling and that we should use the words we WANT to write, versus using just the words we know how to spell.

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

On the second day, I reminded them of the great word choices Cynthia Rylant made in her book, Scarecrow.  We skimmed back to the, now, verymentor text.

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included! Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Then I modeled again.  I resisted writing, “Scarecrow likes the garden.”  I held the pen as students helped me put the sounds down.  Once again, I welcomed the invented spelling.

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Then it was the students’ turn.

At first glance, this might be a confusing illustration.  Once he told me he was at the museum, and those were dinosaur bones and other exhibits… I thought… BAAAA-rilliant!

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

“Scarecrow dreamed about Santa Claus.”  of course he did!

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

Sidenote:  I don’t write on the students’ writing.  This can ignite teacher dependence and anxiety in the writer.  If I want to remember what they wrote, I can just flip it over and scribble it out.  When I student asks what I wrote, I just say,  “Oh… these are notes just for me.”  When it is my own classroom, I put these notes in my conferring notebook.

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

THIS ONE!  LOVE!  “The owl is whistling in the night.”   

Kindergarten Mentor Texts to teach reading and writing with Cynthia Rylant's Scarecrow book. Great for writers workshop and reading workshop. Free mentor text list included!

You can find our detailed writers’ workshop curriculum by clicking HERE.

Each day is scripted to give you support and show you the possibilities.  With time, you will become so confident in teaching writing that you will be comfortable moving the lessons around and teaching them in a different order to meet the needs of your students.  These units were written in 2011 and updated a few years ago to make them, even more, teacher friendly. We love reading the unit feedback.

Tell me about your favorite kindergarten mentor texts!

You may also be interested in:

Mentor Text Free Files

We have collected quite a few mentor texts lists for reading and writing instruction.  Simply add your email to the box below and it will be sent along the way.  This includes a HUGE resource guide and curriculum map!

 

4 Comments

  • Jen Bettenberg February 12 at 3:39 pm

    I use your writer’s workshop curriculum and LOVE it! I would love the mentor text list sent to my email! Thank you!!!

    • Deedee February 18 at 7:09 am

      Super! Just put your email in the box at the bottom of the page and it will be sent to your inbox. Email me if you have any problems 🙂 [email protected]

  • Julie Brown August 11 at 9:03 pm

    I would like the mentor text list sent to my email. Thanks!

    • Deedee August 19 at 8:39 pm

      You bet! Just follow the directions at the bottom of the blog post and it will be sent to you inbox.

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    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More

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