This is an excellent book that really helps give teachers a clear idea of how to teach writing through modelling  with mentor texts. Dorfman and Cappelli demonstrate how teachers can use children’s literature to illustrate the key features of good writing. The authors provide the reader with important rationale as to  why teachers should use published  models to inspire good writing. It lists great children’s picture books to assist in  teaching persuasive writing, introductions and conclusions, writing to build content, writing in the real world, and many, many more topics. The authors take you through their lessons and explain the effectiveness of each step  in the writing process.  Using children’s books to improve writing supports any K-8 teacher of writing. Everything they say supports everything I believe about using Talk Alouds to teach writing. It is written in a way that is easy to read and implement in the classroom.

This is the model I follow for teaching talk alouds for writing:

Talk Aloud for Writing

Read a piece of text and then share what you liked that the author did to help you understand his message. (author’s craft) Share a piece of writing you have written, based on the attributes you appreciated in the author’s writing.
Purpose*same as read aloud*model how to use attributes found in good writing to share a message with the reader*build student awareness of writing structures they can use from mentor texts
Teacher *share own writing based on the attributes identified in a previous talk aloud for reading*explain how you used the attributes in your own writing to communicate with your reader
Student *listen to teacher’s model*use similar attributes to write a piece independently*explain how they used the attributes in their writing
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