19 Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing

Opinion writing is an important skill for students to develop. It requires critical thinking, persuasive language, and the ability to support one’s arguments with evidence. To help students master this skill, mentor texts can be incredibly valuable. Mentor texts are published pieces of writing that serve as examples for students to learn from and emulate. They provide models for structure, language, and style. In this article, we will explore 19 mentor texts that can be used to teach opinion writing in the classroom.

  1. “Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip and Hannah Hoose – This children’s book presents a debate between a human and an ant, encouraging readers to consider both sides of an argument.
  2. “I Wanna Iguana” by Karen Kaufman Orloff – Through a series of persuasive letters, this book explores the topic of owning a pet iguana.
  3. “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin – In this humorous tale, farm animals use their writing skills to advocate for better living conditions.
  4. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems – The pigeon’s attempts to persuade the reader to let him drive the bus provides a fun and relatable example of persuasive language.
  5. “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires – This book teaches children about perseverance and the importance of expressing their opinions.
  6. “Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School” by Mark Teague – Through his letters, Ike the dog makes a case for being released from obedience school.
  7. “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka – This twist on a classic tale tells the wolf’s side of the story, challenging readers to think critically and form their own opinions.
  8. “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt – Each crayon writes a letter expressing their frustrations, leading readers to consider the perspective of the objects they use every day.
  9. “To Be a Kid” by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko – This collection of photographs and quotes encourages children to think about their rights and express their opinions.
  10. “Dear President” by Teresa Celsi – Students writing letters to the president is a powerful way to foster opinion writing and civic engagement.
  11. “The Oath of Allegiance” by Paul Gallico – This historical fiction story explores themes of loyalty, identity, and the power of personal convictions.
  12. “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson – As the main character learns to see past stereotypes and make a new friend, readers are prompted to consider their own prejudices.
  13. “Once Upon a Slime” by Andy Griffiths – This humorous book encourages creative writing and the expression of imaginative opinions.
  14. “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts – Through the story of a boy who wants to fit in, this book addresses peer pressure and the choices we make in pursuit of acceptance.
  15. “The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi – This book explores the importance of individuality and the power of accepting others’ differences.
  16. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein – While open to interpretation, this book can be used to spark discussions about selflessness and personal sacrifice.
  17. “The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuss – This collection of stories teaches lessons about empathy, fairness, and prejudice.
  18. “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson – An inspiring book about embracing differences, finding courage, and sharing personal stories.
  19. “The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein – This book encourages children to embrace imperfection and take risks.

By incorporating these mentor texts into classroom instruction, teachers can provide students with valuable examples of opinion writing. Through exposure to different writing styles and perspectives, students can develop their own voices and become more confident and effective writers.