Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Georgia Conference on Teaching and Learning: ALL Writers Depend on Mentor Texts Handout

I use mentor texts to help me determine the best voice, style, and structure for a work in progress. The resources on this page can get you started:

Nonfiction voice options span a continuum, from lively to lyrical. A writer’s topic and the approach he/she chooses will dictate the best voice choice for a particular piece.


Nonfiction Categories


Writing Styles

Common Text Structures

Books with Layered Text

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

Beaks by Sneed B. Collard

The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre

A Butterfly is Patient by Diana Hutts Aston

Dolphin Baby by Nicola Davies

An Egg is Quiet by Diana Hutts Aston

Here Come the Humpbacks! by April Pulley Sayre

Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies

Leaving Home by Sneed B. Collard

Meet the Howlers by April Pulley Sayre

Move! by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies

A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart

A Place for Birds by Melissa Stewart

A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart

A Place for Fish by Melissa Stewart

A Place for Frogs by Melissa Stewart

A Place for Turtles by Melissa Stewart

A Rock Is Lively by Diana Hutts Aston

A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Hutts Aston

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

When the Wolves Returned by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Wings by Sneed B. Collard

No Monkeys, No Chocolate Revision Timeline

How to Find Great Nonfiction Mentor Texts

AAAS/Subaru Prizes for Excellence in Science Books

ALA Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

CRA Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award

Cook Prize for STEM Picture Book

Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List

Cybils Nonfiction Awards

NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

And that's it! Phew.


  1. So good of you, Melissa to offer this encouragement. Yesterday I felt like with all the time I spend on writing, and the minor financial rewards, should I give up. But I guess I really can't because my brain will keep creating and because of that I have to keep writing.