Narrative writing is an essential skill that students need to develop during their elementary school years. One effective way to enhance their understanding of narrative writing is by using mentor texts. Mentor texts are exemplary pieces of writing that serve as models for students to learn from. They provide concrete examples of various writing techniques, story structures, and language features. In this article, we will explore 11 outstanding mentor texts that can be used in elementary school classrooms to assist students in their narrative writing journey.
- “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka
This alternative take on the classic story of the Three Little Pigs provides students with an opportunity to delve into the perspective of the Big Bad Wolf. It teaches them about the importance of considering different viewpoints and encourages creativity in storytelling.
- “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst
This relatable story follows a young boy named Alexander as he navigates through a series of unfortunate events. It allows students to explore the concept of character development and the impact of events on a story’s plot.
- “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
This Caldecott Medal-winning picture book introduces students to the joy and wonder of a snowy day through simple and descriptive language. It helps them develop their skills in sensory writing and vivid descriptions.
- “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
Through the touching story of a boy and a tree’s unconditional love, students can learn about the importance of character relationships and selflessness. They can also explore the concept of symbolism and its role in narrative writing.
- “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman
This empowering story revolves around Grace, a young girl who challenges gender and racial stereotypes. It prompts students to reflect on the themes of identity, resilience, and overcoming obstacles in their own narratives.
- “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt
Through a collection of hilarious letters from crayons complaining about their predicaments, this book encourages students to experiment with different narrative perspectives and voices. It showcases the importance of unique character voices in storytelling.
- “Jumanji” by Chris Van Allsburg
This adventure-filled picture book tells the tale of a magical board game that comes to life. It serves as an excellent mentor text for teaching students about suspense, pacing, and building tension in their narratives.
- “The Rough-Face Girl” by Rafe Martin
Based on a Native American Cinderella story, this book explores themes of inner beauty and resilience. It helps students understand the significance of cultural diversity and different narrative structures.
- “Stellaluna” by Janell Cannon
This heartwarming story follows the journey of a young bat named Stellaluna as she learns about friendship and acceptance among birds. It provides students with an opportunity to explore themes of empathy and inclusion in their narratives.
- “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires
Through the story of a young girl’s determination to create something magnificent, this book teaches students about the writing process, problem-solving, and the importance of perseverance in achieving their writing goals.
- “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by A. Wolf (as told to Jon Scieszka)
In this humorous twist on the traditional Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf shares his side of the story. It encourages students to think critically about perspective and point of view in narrative writing.
Using mentor texts is a powerful tool in nurturing students’ narrative writing skills. The 11 outstanding mentor texts mentioned above offer engaging stories, rich language, and valuable lessons for elementary school students. By studying these texts, students can develop their storytelling abilities, enhance their understanding of narrative elements, and ultimately become more confident and proficient writers.