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Contributed by Rebecca Shoniker, Independent Educational Consultant.

A "mentor text" is a purposefully chosen text that encourages students to READ LIKE WRITERS by having them read, study, and emulate a particular author's craft.  Using mentor texts during writing instruction is more powerful when students frequently visit the text throughout the writing process and when teachers make thoughtful choices about which crafts to point out, model, and ask students to try out in their own writing.

Mentor texts expose writers to new authors' crafts and encourage them to experiment with their own writing, leading to a higher level of motivation, confidence, and success.  Additionally, mentor texts invite many writing teachers into the classroom as each text becomes another resource for student writers.


Meet the Author Collection

  1 title in paperback
  32 pages  4-color
  $8.00 each [add to cart]
  $38.40 6 pack [add to cart]
  1 title in hard cover
  32 pages 4-color
  $14.95 each [add to cart] 


How it can be used as a Mentor Text:

●format of an autobiography (chronological order of her life with important people, places, and dates)
●reasons the author uses italics in a text
●reasons for capitalization (different uses for proper nouns rather than just names of people, e.g. Irish)
●other reasons author uses quotation marks (pg 7- "tell", pg 8- "firetalking")
●combination of photographs, maps and illustrations in non-fiction book and why author made choices to place each on the page
●comma in a series
●reason for parenthesis (pg 8- my Ukrainian grandmother)
●breaks punctuation rules... kids are taught to start a new paragraph when there is dialogue (pg 8)... why did she chose to do this as an author?
●breaks the rule and starts with the word "because" on pg 9 (conversational tone with the reader)
●term "golden memories" on pg 10 (how does that make you feel as a reader?)
●change of mood on page 12 with one line ("It soothed the pain of not doing well in school.")
●surprising facts on page 14 & 15
●ending starts to wrap up by bringing us back to being a little girl (rocking chair and imagination on pg 24)
●brings figurative language into non-fiction writing to paint a picture in your mind (pg 25)
●writes about stories that really happened to her / inspiration from people and places in her life
●rewrites- just like student writers do! (pg 26)
●last line is circular ending bringing back to her days being young and asking her grandmother - makes "story" feel complete

Rebecca Shoniker


Author at Work Collection

   1 title in paperback
   64 pages  4-color
   $8.00 each
[Add to Cart]




How it can be used as a Mentor Text:

●table of contents to find the part you are interested in reading about/also a way of organizing your writing
●captions on pictures
●starts with a vignette -pg 5 (brief
story reader can relate to) to make a connection to his writing life
●introduction- reason he wrote book and what can be expected
●non-fiction that includes emotions ("my heart sank", "I wanted to cry."- pg 8)
●compares lost manuscript to "his lost child"- personification- pg 8
●reasons for parenthesis
●reasons for quotation marks other than dialogue ("War"- pg 10)
●different types of punctuation ( - : ; )
●comma in a series
●use of italics (ick- pg 12)
●compares his 17 year old brother to an unfinished manuscript full of potential (powerful)- pg 12
●writes from childhood experiences
●combination of photos, text excerpts, pictures of his own notebook, map- why did author choose for each page?
●uses a writer's notebook and discusses how and why...what's in there (pg 23-29)
●takes reader through process of drafting (pg 36-38)
●use of bold print
●use of Q & A (interview and open-ended questions that lead to answers)


Rebecca Shoniker is a National Board Certified Teacher and a published author with 18 years of experience from PreK- middle school.   

She resides in North Carolina and works as a national consultant specializing in balanced literacy, interventions, and coaching teachers to their highest potential. 

Rebecca recommends using Books for Young Learners with children in PreK to grade 3. And she values Meet the Author autobiographies for grades 2-5 and Author at Work autobiographies for grades 4-7.


Rebecca Shoniker, Educational Consultant
For information about her work visit
 Read and Write With Rebecca at




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