Are you looking for some strong, but engaging, narrative writing mentor texts? Whether you are looking for something that can be used year round or seasonally, read on to find some GREAT narrative writing mentor texts for any elementary classroom.
Narrative Writing Mentor Texts for Any Time:
Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
Beekle is such a cute tale about an imaginary friend that is struggling to find the right real child to be his friend. He waits patiently while getting passed up time and time again. However, he is finally chosen! I love the descriptive detail this book has surrounding emotions. It is also a great book for students who might be shy and nervous to come out of their shells. I love to pair this book with an activity where students can write about an adventure that they have with their own imaginary friends, or about their imaginary friend being chosen.
A Ticket Around the World
A Ticket Around the World is about an adventure that a little boy is taking around the world. He stops in various countries and gets to celebrate all of their different cultures respectively. This book tells a cute story while also providing great information about cultures in different places. I love to pair this with a “rocking road trip” writing in which students get to write about an adventure (real or fictitious) of their own!
Flat Stanley is a story about a normal boy… except that he is FLAT! It turns out that being flat means that he can be mailed to all of his friends and visit new places. This makes a really fun writing project for kids. You can make your own Flat Stanleys, you can make your students flat, or you can make yourself flat and see what adventures are taken. Then, have students write about those adventures. I love using this digital writing project to have students write about ME! Plus, you can combine your BitMoji to make this activity even more engaging.
The Little Red Fort
This cute and funny book is about a little girl who spends her summer day wanting to build a fort. Her brothers laugh and tell her that she cannot build the fort, but lo and behold, she does! Your kiddos are sure to be engaged and laugh during this tale, and it provides itself well to students adding details and writing stories about perseverance. I like to use this book at the beginning of the year to have students write about their summer vacations.
If I Had a Gryphon
Have you ever had a hamster for a pet? This book is about a little girl who gets a hamster and finds it a bit boring. She decides to look for other pets, and imagines unicorns, sasquatches, hippogriffs and more. But each one of these pets also comes with some difficulties. In the end, what does she pick? You’ll have to read to find out, but this is a great way to get students running with their imaginations. After reading this text, I love to have my students write about what problems or fun they might have with a dragon as a pet.
How to Catch the Tooth Fairy
First and second grade are about the time when students start losing their first teeth! A fun way to get them writing is to relate to this excitement and talk about what they would do if they finally caught the tooth fairy. This fun book talks about how the main character can catch the tooth fairy, and how the tooth fairy gets out of all of those crazy traps. When we write, we start by writing HOW we caught the tooth fairy (in a narrative, not how to), then we write about what we would do with her magic once we were with her.
Seasonal Narrative Writing Mentor Texts:
How To Catch a Leprechaun
Similar to the tooth fairy writing, How to Catch a Leprechaun is a great text to get imaginations running. Around St. Patrick’s Day your students might be setting traps at home or at school to catch a leprechaun. But… what is their plan once they catch him? I love to pair this text to talk about problem and solution in narrative writing. If students have caught a leprechaun, what mischief might the leprechaun then pull? How would students solve this problem? I love to have students write and do a fun craft detailing just this.
The Polar Express
Is there anything more magical than a ride on The Polar Express? Have your students read this emotional, incredibly detailed and sentimental text, then have them write about what they would do aboard this magical train and during a quick trip the North Pole. This is sure to engage students during the hectic holiday season and is a great way to get students triggering their amazing imaginations.
How to Catch an Elf or How to Catch Santa
I love using either of these texts to get students to write about what they would do if they caught these amazing people. How would they use their magic to spread happiness in the world? What would they do to make their lives and the lives of those around them a little bit better? Would an elf be naughty, like a leprechaun? Would catching Santa cause problems for other kiddos? All of these make great jumping off points for students, and How to Catch an Elf and How to Catch Santa both lend themselves perfectly for these conversations.
The Great Turkey Race
What would a turkey do if it found out that it was going to be the main course for Thanksgiving dinner? Escape of course! This book runs through a fun tale about this. Engage students in some fun writing by having them write about their own turkey escaping their house and getting out of being eaten for dinner. Would the turkey escape in the end? Would it get caught? It is up to your students, and this fun writing craft pairs perfectly with this activity.
The Snowy Day
As a classic, this fun tale about a magical snowy day is a GREAT read aloud for the first snow, the night before a snow day, or maybe as a digital activity during a snowstorm. This text is a great way to teach students to show not tell by adding descriptive details to their writing. I like to then use this text to have students write about their own snowy day, either after a real snow day or as an ideal future snow day. I have students complete a digital project that I then let them share with their classmates.
Jasper is a bunny that is just minding his own business, eating his favorite snack, when suddenly he feels like something might just be following him. But could that really be? Did his favorite snack maybe turn into something more than that? Students will LOVE the suspense that this book brings, along with the surprise ending! It is also a great way to get students into a “spooky” spirit, and have students write their own creative “spooky” (or not so spooky) tales.
What are your favorite narrative writing mentor texts? Drop them in the comments below!
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