Revisiting Mentor Sentences! - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Revisiting Mentor Sentences!

Here is the beginning of the Mastering Mentor Sentences Series with Collaboration Cuties!

I told you about the book Dandelions last week in this post about mentor texts. As I mentioned, I use the book for reading and writing, with social studies integration, too... and I'm here to tell you I also used it for my mentor sentence to teach grammar!

Before I get into the actual sentence I used, I wanted to share with you the directions I give to my students so they know what to expect each day. We use composition notebooks for our mentor sentence journals, so I laminate these directions and tape them on the inside of the front cover of their journals. (Of course, after doing it for a few weeks consistently, they know exactly what's coming. But they can always peek if they need to!)
Click the picture or click here to download the directions!
I chose the sentence, Mares-tail clouds waved in the sky and the grass sang around us, from the book Dandelions by Eve Bunting because we have been working on prepositional phrases as well as distinguishing between compound and complex sentences. It's also a FABULOUS sentence for imagery.

Here is a student's notebook from the week. I hope it helps you see what the students do each day!

To celebrate the students as writers, I choose 4 students each Thursday to display their super sentences for the class to see! Here were the sentences I chose for Dandelions:
It is hard to choose the kids each week to display their sentences because there are so many good ones! They really have blossomed as writers this year! I try to just make sure I don't pick "those same kiddos" every week.

On Friday, they take their quiz. It focuses on all the things we have been working on all week!

Next Tuesday and Thursday, I will share more of what my chart and dialogue looks and sounds like, as well as more of what the students' notebooks look like. Amanda and Stacia will also be posting those days in our Mastering Mentor Sentences Series on their blog! But until then, catch up with what they have already shared about mentor sentences here.

Is there anything you have questions about? Comment below and I'll be happy to answer! :)


  1. I can't wait to work on this with you, via bloggy world!! :O)

    Collaboration Cuties

  2. I am excited for this series!! My district doesn't do anything for grammar and I can tell!! My poor little 5th graders can't even tell me what a noun is! I am definitely going to be trying something like this next year and I'll have all summer to try to put things together following your lead!!

    Thanks again,
    My Journey to 5th Grade

  3. My current school uses DLR (Daily Language Review). In these sheets, students see a sentence that has mistakes and they have to correct them using standard English rules (capitalization, punctuation, spelling, etc.) What do you notice focusing on the good literature as opposed to correcting something that is wrong. (I'm sure focusing on the good is much better, but I just wanted to see if you noticed anything.)

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

    1. This is a great question! I have seen a tremendous growth in their writing, as well as their grammar skills, because we can talk about all the good things in the sentence! I have noticed a lot of times, if the kids are seeing a wrong sentence, they don't exactly know what's wrong with it. For example, if it's a compound sentence missing a comma, they don't know there should be a comma there. But when I can show them how a compound sentence SHOULD look, with a comma and a conjunction, they know how to write it later! Because they still have to see "wrong sentences" on THE TEST, I give them the sentence on Friday with some errors, but because they've seen the way it SHOULD look all week, they can identify the parts that should be corrected. Does this help? :)

  4. I love that you ladies are doing this series - I am so excited to try this next year!

  5. I appreciate how detailed your post is about mentor sentences. I hadn't even heard of Jeff Anderson until you introduced him last week, but I love this whole mentor sentence idea! I have never used DOL (no offense to those who use it-I know some districts use it) because I've never seen it transfer in their daily writing. When students know there are mistakes to be corrected, they can usually find most of them (especially capitalization and punctuation) but they don't always do it in their own writing. We keep track of Super Sentences in our composition book, writing folder, and anchor charts, but I love how detailed and how in depth this is! I can't wait to try it-starting next week! I look forward to hearing more!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. Awesome! Mentor sentences make so much more sense now. I appreciate you sharing your ideas and resources. Now, I think I know how I am going to tweak my mentor sentences next year.


  7. What a good idea! I am excited to see more how you do this! Thanks for linking up :)
    Third Grade Tidbits

  8. Do you ever have students decline your "invitation?" Maybe I'm hung up on this particular wording, is there something to this approach?

    1. My students look at it as a challenge- I've never had a student refuse to try to do what I've asked. They love it!


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