Last year I was fortunate to learn about Ideas by Jivey's Mentor Sentences for 3-5th grades and used it with my third graders. What first caught my eye were the wonderful story titles, many of which were already in my classroom library or readily available from my school library. After using Mentor Sentences for a few weeks, I couldn't believe how quickly my students grasped grammar concepts that in the past were so difficult for them! They were finally able to easily identify parts of speech, similes, metaphors, homophones, and other grammatical concepts. I saw a huge improvement in their writing as well! In my twenty years of teaching, I've never used a program that helps students to understand how language works quite like this one. You would think you would have to devote tons of time each day to get these results, right? Well, all you actually need is about 15 minutes a day!
I'm going to share with you how I spent a week using Mentor Sentences. I was so excited to see Officer Buckle and Gloria as one of the titles, since that was the story we would be reading in our anthology the following week! Complete daily lesson plans with answer keys are provided for each set of Mentor Sentences.
On the first day of the week, we began with Invitation to Notice. After reading the story, I gave each student the sentence on a strip, which is provided. They glued their sentences into their Writer's Notebooks and together we discussed and took notes about what they noticed about the sentence. The students were able to discover common and proper nouns, sentence types, pronouns, plural nouns, and verb tense, all included in one sentence. I was also able to clear up some misconceptions they had about parts of speech. I took notes on the easel, and they copied their notes into their notebooks.
On the second day, we diagrammed the sentence and I asked them to tell me the part of speech of each word in the sentence. The students began to see how words work together in sentences. The more you use Mentor Sentences, the more concepts will begin to stick with your students. They will start to see how adverbs work with verbs, and how adjectives give nouns more details, not verbs. My students now shout out "simile" whenever we read a simile in our read aloud or other mentor text, and they can easily identify subjects and predicates. Below you can see what we came up with for days one and two.
On Day 3, the students were asked to revise the sentence to make it even better than it already was. They could add adjectives, vivid verbs, or specific nouns, and try to stretch the sentence. I told them they needed to spice it up!
Day 4 was more challenging for them, as students were asked to write an imitation sentence. They needed to write a completely new sentence with the author's style, but using their own words. We also discussed how we could spice up the sentences we created. We still need to work on this part a bit more!
After the students completed their imitation sentences, I went around the room and chose four sentences to place in a Star Sentences pocket chart. These students were excited to write their sentences on sentence strips with my special Scentos markers! I kept these posted until the end of the next week, when I chose new sentences from our next Mentor Sentence to replace these.
On Day 5, I gave the students a quiz, which was also provided. Students are quizzed on the concepts for each Mentor Sentence. The students aced this quiz since we discussed the concepts throughout the week.
This Grammar Homework page is also included. I love to use this as a review for the students before the quiz. This is perfect for homework or morning work.
Ideas by Jivey has added a freebie for you! Just click on the picture below to download your own copy of her Diary of a Worm Mentor Sentence. I would love to hear how you like it after you use it with your students. I hope you love Mentor Sentences as much as I do!
You can read more about Mentor Sentences by clicking on the picture below. Jessica has more examples and videos about her mentor sentences on her blog.
Ideas by Jivey is graciously giving away one copy of her Mentor Sentences Unit: The First 10 Weeks for Second grade! And that lucky winner is going to also win a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers from me so they can purchase the second set of Jivey's Mentor Sentences. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!
My good friend Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching is also using Jivey's Mentor Sentences in her classroom and is joining me in the giveaway. She will also be choosing a winner from her blog! Be sure to check her blog post and see how she used Mentor Sentences. I am going to be borrowing a few of her ideas next week!a Rafflecopter giveaway