Mentor Texts for Writing at the Elementary Level – 2024

One of my favorite ways to teach writing is using mentor texts. This post shares popular mentor texts that elementary teachers often use as read alouds during their writing time. All of the picture books on this list lend themselves to this purpose really well. Take a peek below to learn more about these mentor texts for teaching writing!

6 Mentor Texts for Writing

Below is a list of some of our favorite mentor texts for teaching writing at the elementary level. Check them out below!

1. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin gives the reader an inside look into the life of a worm. This story follows the days of the worm through diary entries. The worm is just like human boys and girls. He has a best friend, goes to school, spends time with his family, and enjoys telling jokes and being silly.

The worm’s mother reminds him about the importance of the Earth. She teaches him that the Earth provides everything that they need, and that even though worms are small and sometimes people forget they are there, the Earth always remembers.

Boys and girls will enjoy hearing about the life of the worm, and will start to think about the Earth and the important role everyone plays on it.

Check out these Diary of a Worm lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Diary of a Worm book cover
Diary of a Worm book and activity

2. Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is about a boy named Elliot who paints a picture of his world when he is in art class. His teacher sends it across the ocean. Elliot receives a painting back from a boy named Kailish. The two start writing to each other and sharing information about their lives where they live. The boys realize that while many things are different for them, they share a lot of similarities too! For example, both Elliot and Kailish live with their families. However, they are different because Elliot has a small family while Kailish lives with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

This book will teach students about the lives of two boys that live in different parts of the world. Students will learn about their lives at school, lives at home, about their families and where they live.

Check out these Same, Same But Different lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Same Same But Different book cover
Same, Same but Different activity

3. Eraser by Anna Kang

Eraser by Anna Kang is about how everyone is jealous of pencil, especially Eraser. Pencil and his friends are thought of as the cool and creative ones. Eraser looks up to all the other supplies for the exciting things they can do: glue brings people together and paper makes people feel like they can do anything. The other supplies tease Eraser by saying she is only good for cleaning up their mess. Eraser decides she is meant for something more and leaves the group.

She finds herself in a recycle bin with the first drafts of paper. They are so excited to see her and explain they are big fans. Eraser learns that she is the reason people get second chances because she helps people fix their mistakes. When Eraser heads back to the team she finds they are really struggling. Thankfully she is able to help them fix the mistakes and they finish the science project as a team.

Check out these Eraser lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Eraser book cover
Eraser writing activity

4. The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood

The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood follows a narrator and a main character through a story. The narrator is trying to tell the story about a panda who has a problem, but the panda insists that he doesn’t have a problem.

Instead of the panda having a problem, he decides to create more and more problems for the narrator. Eventually, the panda has to admit that he has a problem when he finds himself hungry and all the way in Antarctica!

Students will laugh out loud while they hear the panda and narrator interact with each other in the story.

Check out these The Panda Problem lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

The Panda Problem book cover
The Panda Problem activities

5. Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills

Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills is about a dog named Rocket who loves reading. His teacher, the yellow bird, reads them books at school. Rocket has also been collecting new words. When he finds a new word, he brings it back to class, writes it down and adds it to their collection.

One day, Rocket decides he is going to write a story with all the new words he has learned. However, when it comes time to write, he doesn’t know what to write about. With his teacher’s suggestion, Rocket takes a walk looking for inspiration. On his walk, Rocket smells pine needles and feathers. This inspires him to write about the nest he saw in a tree.

As Rocket works on his story, he meets the owl that lives in the tree. She does not come down to listen to his story, instead listens from the tree. As Rocket adds to his story, he reads it to the owl. Overtime, she moves down the tree branch by branch. Once the story is finally finished, the owl comes and sits next to Rocket for the first time. His story ends up being about her, and how she was brave enough to come and sit next to him. The owl loves the story and the two are happy to have one another as friends.

Check out these Rocket Writes a Story lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Rocket Writes a Story book cover
Rocket Writes a Story book and activity

6. The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds is the story of a boy named Jerome who loves collecting words. Jerome collects all different kinds of words: big, small and words he sees or hears. He puts the words he collects into a scrapbook.

One day, Jerome decides to bring his collection of words to the top of a hill. He lets the words go and they float down to the world below. Children see the words and start picking them up. It leaves Jerome speechless to see how much joy his collection brings others.

This heartwarming book about Jerome’s collection is sure to inspire students to start collecting their own words and expanding their vocabulary.

Check out these The Word Collector lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

The Word Collector book cover
Word Collector activities

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of mentor texts for writing helpful! They are part of our Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

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