8 Considerations When Using A Mentor Text for Reading Instruction

Updated: Oct 8, 2021




How do you use a mentor text?

First and foremost, read the text as a read aloud to become familiar with the text.


It’s important for children to be familiar with a text and understand the gist before returning to it for strategy instruction.


When you use a mentor text, students should have a general understanding of the text and its structure before you can expect them to dig deeper into strategy work.


When do I teach from a mentor text?

When you are preparing minilessons to build on a particular strategy or skill, you may wish to use a familiar text to illustrate or demonstrate that work for students.


Mentor texts can be used for minilessons, individual conferences or small group instruction.


How can I revisit a mentor text in a minilesson?

When choosing a mentor text to use, think about what your readers need to gain and which texts will best support that work.


Think about which texts will help readers achieve what they need and what will demonstrate the strategy or skill.

Multiple teaching points in one text

Use this little tool to guide your thinking about using a particular text during a reading minilesson. OR...print out this little sheet to jot down your thinking about how you could use the text during your minilessons. Then, add your notes to your own personal teaching points index file (curriculum file, teaching binder, lesson plan book or whatever you call it).


BAM! When it's time to plan a particular lesson, all you have to do is thumb your little index of teaching points to find the best text to support your readers' needs. You will already have done the hard work.