How to use mentor texts to develop writing skills.
Help students come up with new and creative IDEAS. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, two characters describe the exact same setting differently; one sees it as a dangerous place, the other thinks it’s interesting and beautiful. Students can use this example to describe two different character perspectives (point of view) about a place or person.
Students emulate the organisational STRUCTURE or interesting pattern of ideas. In Stephen Kramer’s introductory two pages to his non-fiction picture book, Caves, he begins with a paragraph that shares things you would never find in a cave; then he describes what you would see in a limestone cavern. Students can borrow this two-part, subtle structure to describe any setting.
Learn CRAFT SKILLS by studying the skills, techniques and styles of good writers. In All the Places to Love, Patricia MacLachlan describes settings by starting sentences with a variety of prepositional phrases.