Grammar Mentor Sentences-Interactive Notebook
When I first became a 4th grade writing teacher, I admit I was somewhat clueless on how to best teach all things writing.
I taught grammar from error, putting up passages that required kids to correct the errors…but it was always the same kids who noticed what was wrong with the passage, and the others weren’t getting the direct instruction they needed. They relied on whether something “sounded right” and you know a lot of kids don’t have access to that kind of oral language!
It wasn’t until I began implementing mentor sentences into my English language arts block, that I really understood how language worked.
While yes, I knew all about parts of speech and types of sentences, I had always taught reading and writing in isolation. It wasn’t until I realized how writing and reading were interconnected that the lightbulb went off. I mean, you can’t have a good book without good writing, and you can’t be a good writer without reading.
Mentor sentences changed everything about my grammar instruction because they model for students what a well-written sentence should look like and helped them apply grammar skills to create them.
Using Mentor Sentences
Every week, students got a new sentence, which we dissected daily. Each day they had something new to do using the same sentence.
- Monday: Notebook activity to dissect the sentence
- Tuesday: Grammar hunt table
- Wednesday: Apply the same skill to new sentences
- Thursday: Manipulate the sentence
- Friday: Create your own sentence; Hunt for a similar sentence in your book; Weekly quiz
Visit my my blog post about mentor sentences. It gives a more detailed explanation of each day of the week that will get you started!
Pros to using mentor sentences with your students.
- Every day you use the same sentence but focus on a different skill.
- Use the book students are reading, could be their own book, shared reading book, or your modeled reading book, to find similar type of sentences. (Connecting reading and writing!)
- If you use it weekly, it becomes a habit, and students can eventually do it on their own in a station/center.
- Since students are using color pencils or markers, it makes it fun for them.
- Students begin to mimic the sentence in their writing and writing improves.
Wondering which mentor sentences resource to start with? Try the Fourth Grade Mentor Sentences for Grammar. This resource builds the foundation of what will be expected throughout the other mentor sentences resources. And even though it says fourth grade, I have used this resource with third graders and have had great success!