My students are currently composing drafts for their informational writing projects. They are researching a topic of their choice. One of my most recent lessons in this unit was on using mentor texts to model strong leads.
My students have really grown in their ability to choose words that hook in their readers, and I wanted to make sure they continued to apply these strategies to their informational writing. I believe there is no better way to do this than to share some great mentor texts. Here are a few of my favorites and what I like best about the leads.
Wilma Unlimited has to be one of my all time favorite informational texts because Wilma Rudolph is one of my personal heroes. I love how the lead sets her up as an underdog. The repeated phrases showed me her personal and family strength right from the beginning.
I love how the lead in Alaska starts off with stereotypes. Right away, the text switches to vivid description to help expel those stereotypes.
I had to include a Seymour Simon book in the mix. Big Cats starts off with excellent description, including a metaphor.
After I shared these books with my students I sent them off to read a variety of informational books of their choice. They each selected a book with their favorite lead. I posted a shared document on Google Classroom where students could share great informational books and what they liked about the lead. Now, students have a reference if they are every stuck on composing their leads. Here is a sample of what my students found.
Do you have a favorite mentor text for teaching informational leads? I would love to hear your suggestions, as I am always looking to build up my classroom library.
Thank you, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!