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Mentor Texts

How (and why) to use mentor texts to teach grammar and mechanics.

Kelly Mogk

on 25 June 2010

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Transcript of Mentor Texts

Sentence Stalking:
Using Mentor Texts to Teach Grammar A mentor text is any text that can teach a writer about any aspect of the writer’s craft.
(Jeff Anderson, 2005) From posting a student’s sentence on the door as a Sentence of the Week to using a piece of student writing as an example of correctness rather than error, sentence stalking goes a long way toward building goodwill in any classroom.
(Jeff Anderson, 2005) After my first year of teaching, I knew the Daily Oral Language and MUG Shot worksheets were not the answer. “In their zeal to make everything right, some teachers offer so many corrections and suggestions that all but the most energetic writers feel buried alive.” As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for you?”
(Jeff Anderson, 2007) what? so what? now what? TEKS resources Isolated grammar instruction and consistently showing students bad examples of writing for grammar correction fails to help students incorporate conventions into their own writing.
Grammar rules are useless if we don’t know how language functions.
Skjelbred, R. (2002) A classroom environment rich with reading materials supports writing development ... even with the student’s major emphasis on meaning-making, the mechanics of punctuation, spelling, capitalization, as well as standard forms of grammar and usage are visually present. Over time, these become absorbed as a part of the student’s linguistic knowledge.
Rosen, M.R. (1998) Reading is an invaluable source of grammar instruction.
Kiel, J. (1998) ... “learning” it, then, proceeds from having a sense of play about how language is used along with writing experiments that fool around with a variety of grammatical and syntactical combinations.

If basic terms for parts of speech or syntactical elements become part of our everyday writing vocabulary, then we can have infinite ways of discovering the “how” of writing.
Skjelbred, R. (2002) Kindergarten
5A-B; 13C-E; 16A-C; 17A-C 4th Grade
15 C-D; 20 A-C; 21 B-C 7th Grade
14 C-D; 19 A-C; 20 A-B English II
13 C-D; 17 A-C; 18 A-B theater
2D Anderson, Jeff. (2007). Everyday Editing. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Anderson, Jeff. (2005). Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Skjelbred, R. (2002). Sound and Sense: Grammar, Poetry, and Creative Language. In A. Bauman & A. Peterson (Eds.), Breakthroughs: Classroom Discoveries About Teaching Writing. (pp. 158-171). Berkeley, CA: National Writing Project.
Kiel, J. (1998). How Language is Learned. In C. Weaver (Ed.), Lessons to Share: On Teaching Grammar in Context. (pp. 1-17)
Rosen, M.R. (1998). Developing Correctness in Student Writing: Alternative to the Error Hunt. In C. Weaver (Ed.), Lessons to Share: On Teaching Grammar in Context. (pp. 137-154)
Simple sentences: “Stone breaks. Water quakes.” Lola M. Shaefer, An Island Grows (2006)

Serial commas: “I have hair the color of carrots in an apricot glaze, skin fair and clear where it isn’t freckled, and eyes like summer storms.” -- Polly Horvath, Everything on a Waffle (2004)

Compound sentences: “I think about going in my room now, but it smells like the inside of an old lunch bag in there.” Gennifer Choldenko, Al Capone Does My Shirts (2004)

Verbs: “He dashed into the house while the smell of hose water and burning plaster drifted up to the patio.” -- Tony Abbott, Firegirl (2007)
activity Websites: Notable Sentences
Sentence Stalking
http://sentencestalkingstevens.blogspot.com/ The student will be able to develop
and revise drafts using correct grammar
and mechanics. Sentence Stalking
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