Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community is hosting the Third Annual Picture Book 10 for 10. The purpose is for bloggers and others to share their top ten favorite picture books. I’m happy to participate and share with everyone my top ten favorite mentor texts I use when modeling writing with students.
1. Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco is great for modeling interesting openings, setting a scene, words that sound like what they mean, strong verbs, punctuation and the style of a recipe at the end of the story. Really, any of Polacco’s books could be on this list. She is a great writing mentor.
2. Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee works well for modeling text structure, showcasing a small moment, and the use of descriptive words.
3. Mud by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Lauren Stringer has descriptive language and an interesting way with words.
4. So Much by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury is a good example of text structure and works really well for punctuation. I also like that this is a multi-cultural book clicked with my inner-city students.
5. When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant is another great text for modeling a small moment, narrative and interesting openings. Again, most of Rylant’s work makes for good examples during writer’s workshop.
6. Tornadoes by Gail Gibbons or really any of Gibbon’s work is great for non-fiction text features.
7. Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neil works for poetry examples, painting a picture, and adjective attributes and comparisons.
8. Tuesday by David Wiesner is superb for telling a story through illustrations and inferring.
9. Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter and illustrated by Krysten Brooker is a great fit for modeling where writers get ideas and revising.
10. All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan can be used for studying craft.
Find mentor texts that speak to you. If you have a connection with a text, it will be much easier to use it as a tool to model writing for children. What favorite mentor texts do you have on your shelf?
Head over to Reflect and Refine to see a list other top 10 lists. You will also find links to the 2010 and 2011 lists too.