Powerful Craft Moves for Mentor Texts

I started my reading in “Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts” by Stacey Shubitz and I am already intrigued. Now that my writing workshop is over and I have nothing else planned professional development wise, so I had to create my own.

Recently I joined the #teacherswrite blog writing summer blog sessions and I fell upon the blog Two Writing Teachers, which I am catching up in reading their previous posts, but I felt like I could only do so much with reading blogs online. Amazon Prime has proven to be the devil but the best thing ever, so I pretty much just order everything on Amazon and it comes super quick.

Just in the first chapter of Stacey’s book, I am already learning a lot. My goal will be to publish for you the important details I find in her book. Obviously everything is important, but just small little things that I think you can use in your classroom.

How to find Mentor texts:

  1. Look through picture books and fall in love with them.
  2. Read them again for language as a writer
  3. Read it again and use sticky notes to record craft moves.
  4. Sort the notes on chart paper.

My main question was, what are craft moves? What am I looking for when I go through a picture book to teach my kids?

Stacey Shubitz breaks it down for you.

Fiction Books:

  • Dialogue
  • Internal thinking
  • Lead/Ending
  • Punctuation to Create Voice
  • Repetition
  • Show, Don’t tell
  • Specific Details
  • Structure
  • Turning Point
  • Varied Sentence Lengths


Nonfiction Picture Books:

  • Back Matter
  • Content-Specific Vocabulary
  • Lead/Ending
  • Precise Words
  • Punctuation to Create Voice
  • Quotes and Sources
  • Repetition
  • Teaching Tone
  • Text Features
  • Topics and Subtopics


If you have not read this book, I suggest you get it.

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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL Working Moms and Co-Owner of Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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