April 7, 2017  •  In This Issue:

1.  Preview the new edition of Mentor Texts
2.  A Sketch in Time: Celebrating National Poetry Month
3.  PD Corner: Poetry in the classroom

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1) Preview the new edition of Mentor Texts
Mentor Texts, Second Edition, by Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli Mentor Texts is like having a literature expert and master teacher at your side all year long. Enjoy it, mark it up, and make it your friend. You and your students will be energized and motivated as you savor richly constructed mentor texts and connect them to amazing writing opportunities.
—Linda Hoyt

It's been a decade since Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli wrote the first edition of Mentor Texts and helped teachers across the country make the most of high-quality children's literature in their writing instruction. In the second edition of this important book, Lynne and Rose show teachers how to help students become confident, accomplished writers by using literature as their foundation.

The second edition includes brand-new "Your Turn" lessons, built around the gradual release of responsibility model, offering suggestions for demonstrations and shared or guided writing.

Lynne and Rose suggest new children's book titles in each chapter and in a carefully curated and annotated Treasure Chest. At the end of each chapter a "Think About It-Talk About It-Write About It" section invites reflection and conversation with colleagues.

Preview the entire book online now:

Mentor Texts, Second Edition
Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature, K-6
Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli
Foreword by Linda Hoyt
Grades K-6 • 382 pages • $28.00
Available early May • Preorder now


2) A Sketch in Time: Celebrating National Poetry Month
Poetry Sketch We are lucky to have our own resident poet and author, Shirley McPhillips, to help us celebrate National Poetry Month with a great post about "word sketches." Shirley is the author of Poem Central: Word Journeys with Readers and Writers. Read her post for some ideas for your classroom to introduce this simple, yet effective exercise to get your students into writing poetry:


3) PD Corner: Poetry in the classroom
You must love the words, the ideas and images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all.
—Wallace Stevens

Treat students to a poetry tasting. Set them up to fall in love with verses just right for their eager taste buds. Consider printing up a "menu" and having young students read tasty, food-related poems together or in small groups:

Or sample the poetic food offerings the Poetry Foundation has for older students:

Save the date! Plan to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27th. Stuff your pockets with poems to pass out to friends and colleagues:

In apostrophe poems, authors address someone or something. Imagine apostrophe pieces your students could write or discover and connect them to current classroom topics. Dive into "Fear Factor" and the lesson Sara Holbrook shares from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School:

Poem Central, by Shirley McPhillips Shirley McPhillips defines the roles poetry plays in our lives in Poem Central. Dip into Chapter 1, "Poems that Speak to Us," and consider using her model to collect and share poems that speak to your school community:

A Note Slipped Under the Door, by Shirley McPhillips and Nick Flynn Make poetry accessible with a lesson from A Note Slipped Under the Door, by Shirley McPhillips and Nick Flynn. Capitalize on the power of imagery. Read Chapter 2, "Watermelons in My Grandmother's Car" and use the ideas to guide students in responding to poetry through sketching, talking, and writing:
(Scroll down to the Table of Contents to find the Chapter 2 link.)


Please send comments and questions to Zsofia McMullin, Newslinks Editor, at or call (800) 988-9812. Click here to view archives of past issues.
Contributing writer: Lee Ann Spillane

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