Top 5 Mentor Texts for Teaching the Ideas Trait

Are your students stuck for ideas to write about? Are you teaching using the 6 traits and need a great mentor text? Using mentor texts can help to spark some idea generation for students who have difficulty coming up with ideas to write about.

Read on to check out some of the best read alouds or mentor texts for teaching the ideas trait:

I started using writing traits for teaching writing several years ago and I haven't looked back! You can read about that journey here! If you're already teaching writing using the 6 traits then check out these mentor texts to use for read alouds to help support teaching of the ideas trait.

The BEST Read Alouds for Teaching the Ideas Trait:

1. Chester's Masterpiece:



I love Chester, students love Chester, EVERYONE loves Chester! This book talks about coming up with your own ideas instead of taking an idea that someone else had. You can click on the image if you want to check it out on Amazon.

2. What Do You Do With an Idea?



I LOVE LOVE LOVE  this book! This book is great on so many levels and for so many curriculum topics. I use it all the time when we are doing independent projects during inquiry learning and also for teaching about ideas during writing. It is such a great mentor text for teaching about ideas for writing. In this book students will learn about how their ideas might not be perfect right from the start or how transferring their ideas to a finished product....well they might not look the same as how the student envisioned it. It teaches them that this is OKAY! Such a positive message for kids to hear.

3. Amelia's Notebook:


If you use a writer's notebook in your classroom this is a MUST HAVE mentor text! Amelia's notebook is sort of like a diary. It features many different forms of writing from diary entries to shopping lists. This book shows students that jotting their ideas down in a book in any form IS WRITING! Writing doesn't have to be a big formal boring chore. The pictures in this book are great as well. In my classroom this is one of the most read books and it seems to always spark something in my students. They see this book and they think, "I can do that!". And immediately they get out their notebooks and start writing their own musings. The side bonus of this is that I find the voice trait for writing starts to make an immediate improvement and I'm sure it's because they are writing about what they know best, themselves.

4. Top Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups:



When I read this book I like to put on a bit of a show. I tell the kids I'm going to share some very important secrets with them. I tip toe over to the door and quietly shut it, pretending that I don't want anyone to over hear. Then I show them the cover and read the title. Immediately their little brains start going to work. After reading about the secret knowledge of grown-ups they love to come up with ideas for the secret knowledge of kids, or new ones for grown-ups, or the secret knowledge of soccer players, baseball players, dancers, artists etc.

5. Library Mouse...and the other books in the Library Mouse Series:


This book is perfect for the beginning of the year when you are just starting to teach writing. Library Mouse helps students to see that they are writers with ideas. Sam - The Library Mouse - lives in the library and writes little tiny mouse sized books for the students to find. After reading this book, my students are always inspired to start writing their own little mouse books. They love to leave them around the classroom for the other students (and me) to find. We have even had our own mysterious classroom mouse!

So there you have it! My Top 5 books (mentor texts) for teaching the ideas trait for writing! Don't forget to Pin the image below so you can save the book suggestions for later. Check out my other blog post on the Ideas Trait by clicking here.



And if you're looking for some printables to use with your students to help with teaching the ideas trait for writing you can check out my student booklet here:

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