Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Slice of Life - Trying Out Mentor Texts

I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.

  I'm planning on using lots of mentor texts to give my students models for writing their Slices of Life this year.  We're going to try out lots of ideas. Yesterday, I read My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray,  and we picked out various craft choices - circular structure, repetitive phrases, followed the seasons, hyphenated adjectives and verbs.  Students can try all of the craft choices, a few, or even change them up a bit to fit the person they're writing about and the tone they want.


I got as far as spring this week.  I'm going to work on the rest for next Tuesday.

My Dad Has a Country Heart

My dad has a country heart
and he shared that heart with me.

With lanky legs and strong hands
worn blue jeans
and a carton of cigarettes
rolled up in a sleeve
like James Dean
he'd grin and say:
"We've got to
get outside
and do a little work.
There are horses
to feed
fish to be caught
and ducks to be brought in.
Let's go!"
And so we did.

When spring came along
and the ice turned to mud
and forsythia started blooming
at the end of the lane
it was time to go
to the Mt. Healthy Hatchery
to pick up a dozen
or ducklings.

We'd hop in
the truck and zoom-vroom
on over there
me excited
my brain zip-zapping
about what little treasures
we'd bring home
for the fair season.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the kids write!


  1. Holly, this is wonderful work that I will share with my PD groups this year (with credit to you). I was asked to guest moderate #TMchat on the topic of mentor texts based on the work I have been doing with writing as well. Glad that we have the same mindset. I like what you composed - fond memories of your dad when you were a child. I see where your love of chicks came from. I hope you offer a fall digital inspiration for the my new gallery.

    1. I would love for you to share! I'll be thinking of something to offer for your fall gallery. :-)

  2. This is beautiful work, Holly - I love the thoughtfulness with which you wove this together.

  3. Holly,
    I can always count on getting great ideas from your blog. Can I steal this too? I did Malala this week (sent you an email). It went great! When can our classes connect? Are you blogging yet?

    1. I emailed you back! Of course you can steal! :-)

  4. I love this book! Now I'm headed to my bookshelf to put it on the mentor text shelf. I think it's in the Mother's Day books.