Opinion writing is an essential skill for students to develop, as it allows them to express their thoughts and beliefs effectively. One way to help students improve their opinion writing is through the use of mentor texts. Mentor texts are published pieces of writing that serve as models for students to learn from and emulate.
Here are 19 mentor texts that can be used to inspire and guide students in their opinion writing:
- “I Wanna Iguana” by Karen Kaufman Orloff – This book explores the persuasive arguments a boy makes to convince his parents to let him have an iguana as a pet.
- “Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip M. Hoose – This thought-provoking book presents a dilemma and encourages readers to consider both sides before forming an opinion.
- “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt – In this humorous book, crayons express their grievances through letters, offering opportunities for students to write persuasive letters of their own.
- “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka – This book presents the story of the Three Little Pigs from the perspective of the wolf, challenging readers to question traditional narratives.
- “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems – This engaging picture book encourages readers to develop persuasive arguments as they try to convince the pigeon not to drive the bus.
- “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts – In this heartwarming story, a young boy longs for a pair of trendy sneakers and learns about the importance of empathy and making choices.
- “Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School” by Mark Teague – Ike, the dog, writes letters to his owner in an attempt to manipulate the situation and avoid obedience school.
- “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill – Through this book, students can explore the topic of bullying and consider how to express their opinions on standing up to bullies.
- “If Kids Ran the World” by Leo and Diane Dillon – This imaginative story empowers kids to imagine a world where they make the rules and express their opinions on issues they care about.
- “My Teacher for President” by Kay Winters – Students can imagine what it would be like if their teacher ran for president and write persuasive speeches to support their candidate.
- “Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community” by Susan Verde – This book encourages students to express their opinions on the power of art to transform communities.
- “Thank You, Omu!” by Oge Mora – Through this heartfelt story, students can explore the theme of gratitude and express their opinions on the importance of kindness.
- “Let the Children March” by Monica Clark-Robinson – This inspiring book tells the story of children who participated in the Civil Rights Movement and can serve as a mentor text for students to express their opinions on social justice issues.
- “A Bike Like Sergio’s” by Maribeth Boelts – In this book, a young boy struggles with jealousy but ultimately learns about fairness and expressing his opinions respectfully.
- “We Are All Wonders” by R.J. Palacio – Students can use this picture book to explore the theme of empathy and express their opinions on embracing differences.
- “Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco – This book tells the story of a girl who overcomes dyslexia with the help of her teacher, offering opportunities for students to express their opinions on the importance of education and equality.
- “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig – Through this book, students can explore the theme of inclusion and express their opinions on making everyone feel valued and seen.
- “Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad” by Henry Cole – This wordless picture book can serve as a mentor text for students to express their opinions on freedom, equality, and human rights.
- “Those Rebels, John & Tom” by Barbara Kerley – This book explores the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and can inspire students to express their opinions on the value of collaboration and compromise.
Using mentor texts like these can provide students with inspiration, guidance, and examples to improve their opinion writing skills. By studying these texts and reflecting on the persuasive techniques used, students can develop their own unique voice and express their opinions with clarity and conviction.