Welcome to The Literacy Cookbook

Recipes for Effective Literacy Instruction

Mentor Texts


Clients frequently ask me, "Where can we find models of excellent writing to share with our students?"  I've been noodling on this problem for a while, and I've decided to add this page to curate exemplars.  This is a work in progress, and I welcome your suggestions!  Please Email me at sarahtantillo@literacycookbook.com

PS--If you haven't seen them yet, I recommend the following books on this subject:

Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature, K-6, 2nd ed. by Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli (Portland, ME: Stenhouse, 2017).

Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Teaching Informational Writing Through Children's Literature, K-8 by Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli (Portland, ME: Stenhouse, 2009).



"JOKE: Cat vs. Dog: War of the Diaries" in Huffington Post on May 22, 2012  (PS, you will want to edit this for younger students: some salty language.)


"Tables for Two: The Four Seasons" by Hannah Goldfield in The New Yorker, Oct. 22, 2018.

 "A Closer Look at Improving Student Engagement by Letting Students Choose Their Tasks" by Robert Pondiscio in EducationNext, Nov. 29, 2018.

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