Friday, January 20, 2017

Mentor Sentences

Each week students will have a mentor sentence quiz.  A mentor sentence is a well crafted sentence that can be found in any text. Mentor sentences serve as good examples of what good writing is all about.  Mentor sentences are also a great source for identifying different elements of writing including grammar, structure and style.

Since we are reading Toliver's Secret, our mentor sentences will be coming from this text.  Each day of the week we work with the sentence in a different way.  Students complete all of their work with mentor sentences in their grammar journals.  Below is a description of what we do with the sentence each day.

Day #1: Invitation to Notice - Students are invited to notice all the things about what makes the sentence a good mentor sentence.  It could be use of exciting words, descriptions, figurative language, vivid verbs, grammar usage and much more!  There is no limit to what students might find.

Day #2: Invitation to Notice Parts of Speech - Students write the mentor sentence in their journal exactly as it is written, skipping lines in between.  Students find and label all parts of speech they can identify in the sentence.

Day #3: Invitation to Revise - Students revise the sentence to make it even more descriptive and exciting.  They rewrite the sentence and try adding or changing adjectives, specific nouns, and vivid verbs.

Day #4: Invitation to Imitate - Students imitate the mentor sentence.  The use the structure of the sentence to create a brand new mentor sentence that no one has ever seen before.  They use the author's style, but with their own words.

Day #5: Quiz - On the quiz, the students are required to make 3 corrections to the mentor sentence (there will always be three corrections to make), rewrite the sentence correctly, answer questions about the parts of speech, as answer questions about anything we have discussed about the mentor sentence.  This could include figurative language, type of sentence, etc.

An example of what students' journal should look like with their mentor sentence.

Students should be studying their mentor sentence each night.  It is also important that students pay attention and participate in class discussions when we are talking about the mentor sentence. Students will be introduced to their new mentor sentence on Monday, January 23rd and will have their quiz on Friday, January 27th.