Buckner, A. (2005). Notebook Know-How: Strategies for the Writer’s Notebook. Portland, MN: Stenhouse.

Notebook Know How


Aimee Buckner provides the tools teachers need to make writers’ notebooks an integral part of their writing programs. She also addresses many of the questions teachers ask when they start using notebooks with their students. This book is full of lessons, tips, and samples of student writing to help teachers make the most of writers’ notebooks, without sacrificing time needed for the rest of the literacy curriculum.

Dorfman, L. R., & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature, K-6. Portland, MN: Stenhouse.

Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature

This practical resource demonstrates the power of learning to read like writers. It shows teachers and students how to discover the ways that authors make writing come alive, and how to use that knowledge to inspire and improve their own writing. The book is organized around the characteristics of good writing—focus, content, organization, style, and conventions. Rose and Lynne write in a friendly and conversational style, employing numerous anecdotes to help teachers visualize the process, and offer strategies that can be immediately implemented in the classroom. Each “Your Turn” lesson is built around the gradual release of responsibility model, offering suggestions for demonstrations and shared or guided writing.

Dorfman, L. R., & Cappelli, R. (2009). Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Teaching Informational Writing Through Children’s Literature, K-8. Portland, MN: Stenhouse.

Teaching Informational writing Through Children's Literature

Lynne and Rose guide teachers through a variety of projects, samples, and classroom anecdotes that demonstrate how teachers can help students become more effective writers of good nonfiction. Teachers will find especially helpful the information on how to select appropriate mentor texts from among the sometimes overwhelming offerings of children’s literature. One of the most valuable features of Nonfiction Mentor Texts is the treasure chest of books organized according to chapter. This list includes every title mentioned in the book, as well as a host of other titles that teachers can use to help students learn about quality nonfiction writing—building content, organizing text, developing voice, enhancing style, using punctuation effectively—and from which students can draw topic ideas.

Ehmann, S., & Gayer, K. (2009). I Can Write Like That!: A Guide to Mentor Texts and Craft Studies for Writers’ Workshop, K-6. International Reading Association.

I Can write like that

The heart of this book is an extensive annotated bibliography that details examples of 27 author’s crafts found in 150 high-quality children’s books. But there’s so much more! This book can serve as your go-to writers workshop resource by providing you with:

– A quick reference to turn to when you need to find the right mentor text to teach a specific author’s craft, such as alliteration, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, personification, rhyme, voice, and many more
– Age-appropriate craft studies that fit into your existing curriculum
– Tools to help you match the books you already have in your classroom or school library with the crafts they demonstrate

Ray, K. W., & Cleaveland, L. B. (2004). About the Authors: Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

About the Authors

Ray explains step by step how to set up and maintain a primary writing workshop, detailing eleven units of study that cover idea generation, text structures, different genres, and illustrations that work with text. She also draws on data, projects, and the language of teaching used in the classroom of first-grade teacher Lisa Cleaveland. Ray allows readers to “listen in” to Lisa as she helps her young students learn from professional writers, work with intention, and think about their own process.