What is a Mentor Text?
A good mentor text is familiar and is an enjoyable piece of text rich in content to support strategy and skill instruction. The text provides many opportunities for readers to revisit the text for multiple minilesson possibilities for reading strategy and skill work.
So just what makes a good mentor text?
Short texts such as a picture book, short story, article or short chapter or chunk of text from a novel will work well.
You must enjoy the text or children will not engage in the text with you because they will sense your dislike. When you like a text, students generally have the same feeling towards a text based on your enthusiasm.
It's important for your readers to enjoy the text because you could possibly revisit it many times during the school year for different intentional reading purposes.
So…read aloud the book to your students. If they don’t like it or are not interested in the text, don’t use it as a mentor text. If your readers like the text, add it to your collection of mentor text possibilities.
When choosing short texts to read aloud, be intentional. Students don’t need to know what your instructional intentions are with the text, but you will have an instructional purpose for sharing that particular text with your students.
How do I find good mentor texts?
Browse familiar and enjoyed texts for strategy and skill teaching opportunities.