Table of Contents

Introduction: Mentor Texts: Opening the World to Writing

Part I: Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Learning to Write from Writers
Try This Modeling with Your Own Mentor Texts
Reproducible My Mentor Text Note-Taking Sheet
Try This Using Different Lenses to Read
Try This Creating Nonfiction Mentor Text Anthologies
Try This Fitting It All in with Nonfiction Mondays

Part II. Teaching Nonfiction Craft Tools with Mentor Texts

1. Focus: The Hearth of Nonfiction Writing
Try This Distilling Information into a Six-Word Memoir 
Try This Studying Titles to Learn About Focus 
Try This Writing a Poem to Help Focus a Topic

2. Turning Facts into Scenes: Writing with Imagery 
Try This
 Writing with Imagery (more experienced writers) 
Try This Writing with Imagery (less experienced writers) 
Try This Writing Photo-Essays: Being Inspired by Visual Imagery
Reproducible Turning Facts into Scenes: Writing with Imagery

3. Leads: The Doorway into Writing 
Try This
 Learning from Leads 
Reproducible Leads

4. Point of View and Voice: Who Are We When We Write? 
Try This
 Studying Point of View 
Reproducible Point of View 
Try This Considering Voice 
Reproducible Voice: Who Are We When We Write?

5. Precise Language: Details, Details, and More Details 
Try This 
Using Sensory Words 
Reproducible Sensory Words 
Try This Using Precise Language 
Reproducible Precise Language: Concrete Nouns and Active Verbs 
Try This Using Personification to Make Nonfiction Writing Come Alive 
Reproducible Figurative Language: Simile and Metaphor 
Reproducible Figurative Language: Personification 
Try This Generating Domain-Specific Vocabulary

6. Text Structures: Writing Bird by Bird 
Try This 
Structuring and Organizing Nonfiction

7. Endings: Letting Words Linger 

Nuts and Bolts: More Tools of the Nonfiction Trade

  • Using Nonfiction Text Features in Meaningful Ways
  • Using Dialogue and Quotes from Primary Source Material
  • Ensuring Truth and Accuracy
  • Varying Sentence Length
  • Citing Sources and Creating a Bibliography