The Narrative Writing Toolkit: Using Mentor Texts in Grades 3-8

1st Edition

Sean Ruday

Published April 11, 2016
Reference - 160 Pages - 5 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138101531 - CAT# Y212294

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In order for students to write effective narratives, they need to read good narratives. In this practical book, you’ll find out how to use mentor texts to make narrative writing instruction more meaningful, authentic, and successful. Author Sean Ruday demonstrates how you can teach elementary and middle school students to analyze the qualities of effective narratives and then help them think of those qualities as tools to improve their own writing. You’ll learn how to:

  • Introduce your students to the key features of a successful narrative, such as engaging the reader, organizing an event sequence, and crafting a strong conclusion.
  • Assess students’ writing by evaluating the specific attributes of an effective narrative.
  • Make narrative writing an interactive, student-driven exercise in which students pursue their own writing projects.
  • Use mentor texts to help students learn the core concepts of narrative writing and apply those skills across the curriculum.
  • Encourage students to incorporate technology and multimedia as they craft their narratives.

The book is filled with examples and templates you can bring back to the classroom immediately, as well as an annotated bibliography with mentor text suggestions and links to the Common Core. You’ll also find a study guide that will help you use this book for professional development with colleagues.

Bonus: Blank templates of the handouts are available as printable eResources on our website (


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