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Mentor Texts for Writing – Third Grade Faves

Summer!  That time of year when we intend to do amazing things for our classroom but life just gets in the way!  Even though I don’t always get around to laminating all the things or cleaning out my classroom cupboards #sothat’swherethatfieldtripmoneywent, one of the things I can do is buy books that will serve as excellent mentor texts for next year. #helloamazonprime

Collecting new mentor texts for writing is one way I feel productive during the summer.  If you Super Teachers out there have more ideas for mentor texts you ABSOLUTELY LOVE I would be jazzed to hear about them in the comments!  Here are a few I’m either buying or dusting off for next year.

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love, love, love the book Me . . . Jane.  This is a excellent text to whip out during a nonfiction/biography unit.  The pictures are beautifully done and my kids love the ending where the author moves from illustrations to a photograph.  The combination of picture book story with nonfiction information at the end is so well done and is a great example for students of mixing genres, getting story inspiration from real people, as well as zooming in on a single event – like Jane’s relationship with her stuffed monkey Jubilee.  This is a book we read and reread over and over again because the kids request it!


The S.O.S. File is great for emergency stories and/or scar stories!  If you read this during a personal narrative unit you can try doing a genre switch (using students’ personal narratives as inspiration for a fictional story).


The Day I Lost my Class Hamster is a excellent text to model personal narrative and school stories.  I always read the Miss Cucumber chapter and then talk about bathroom accident school stories.  My third graders always find it thrilling to learn that Mrs. Smith had many-a-bathroom-accident by the end of second grade.  I had a very sensitive stomach.  🙂


32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny is perfect for for a quick summer teacher read. I’ve also used it as a personal narrative mentor text in the classroom.  Try the chapter where he gets his tie stuck in the laminator. I also try to read the Picture Day chapter on (you guessed it) picture day.  Fantastic!

Be warned: He uses the word H-E-L-L so for sensitive/over-reactive students don’t read it under the doc camera. I learned this lesson the hard way so you don’t have to.


If you’re interested in more ideas for simple summer projects, or items you can make or buy for your 2-3 classroom this summer to help save some sanity in the fall, head to the Summer Tasks for Teachers Post HERE.

Have a fab day Super Teacher,

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