Mentor Magic

Friday, August 8, 2014
Folding an Old Favorite, Lori
It's been a pretty impressive week with some fantastic folding! But I know we all appreciate the power of simplicity. Today's foldable begins with a little bit of tri-fold magic. The tri-fold is the easiest and most diverse of all foldables. With two simple folds you can have 3 columns or 3 rows. 

My favorite use for the tri-fold is using it with a mentor text. If you're not quite sure how to use mentor texts, this resource by Dorfman and Capelli is fantastic. It is designed for elementary, but beautifully lays out the fundaments of using a mentor text as a model approaching a text as a reader and writer. As an added bonus, it provides tons of picture books that can be used as quality examples. 

Here's how to create the Mentor Magic. Begin by choosing a published piece to use as a mentor. You can use any genre that you need your kids to grasp as both readers and writers. 

  • Create a vertical tri-fold. 
  • Cut on the outside panels so that you have three flaps (It could also work with 2, but 4 is probably a bit much).
  • Leave the center panel fully intact and glue it inside your interactive notebook.
  • Label the center panel with the devices, skills, or sentence patterns that you want your students to emulate. Perhaps you're looking at strong adjectives.
  • Use the left panel as you study your mentor text. If you want students to use strong adjectives, then make a list of the adjectives that you see and the words they modify.
  • Use the right panel as students plan their own pieces. In keeping with the adjective example, your students can pull nouns from their drafts that they would like to describe.
  • Since the Mentor Magic stays in the notebook students have examples from a published piece and from their own writing in their notebook. 
  • For the example included, I used features of an expository text: Author's purpose, Thesis, Supporting Details. I also added an extra bit of scaffolding by defining the terms in the center flap.
Foldables don't have to be complicated. I like this one because it is layered and allows students to think as readers and writers.

We've had a great week of folding fun! Check back next week for more!

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