National Writing Project

Reading, Writing, and Mentor Texts: Imagining Possibilities

Date: March 28, 2013

Summary: In this episode we discuss with our guests the many ways mentor texts support writers and inspire writing of all genres in the classroom and beyond. We also explore direct connections to learning across the disciplines and resources for identifying and finding mentor texts.


Excerpt from Show

Lynne Dorfman—co-director of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project and co-author of Mentor Texts , Non-fiction Mentor Texts , and Poetry Mentor Texts —defines mentor texts:

Mentor texts are pieces of literature that you—both teacher and student—can return to and reread for many different purposes. They are texts to be studied and imitated...Mentor texts help students to take risks and be different writers tomorrow than they are today. It helps them to try out new strategies and formats. They should be basically books that students can relate to and can even read independently or with some support. And of course, a mentor text doesn't have to be in the form of a book—a mentor text might be a poem, a newspaper article, song lyrics, comic strips, manuals, essays, almost anything."

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Duration: 1 hour

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