BOOKS

Cover of Poetry Mentor Texts: Making Reading and Writing Connections, K-8
Poetry Mentor Texts: Making Reading and Writing Connections, K-8
By Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli,Pembroke Publishers, 2012, 200 pages. $26.95
*****
Reviewed by Jessica Crowley

Poetry Mentor Texts is its title and so much more. While this resource focuses on how mentor poems can be used to enhance writing and reading programs, it also provides meaningful poetry examples and lessons to fully engage and connect with students. The resource presents powerful and high-interest texts to hook both the reader and the writer. One of the main objectives of this book is to help instill the love and enjoyment of reading and writing poetry in students and teachers.

The resource takes the reader on a poetic journey through various forms of poetry, including list poems, acrostic poems, persona poems, and poetry for two voices. Each chapter outlines the criteria for poem creation, and interwoven in the text are rich examples of the poetic forms. There is a focus on making meaningful and deep connections between the poems, the reader, and the writer.

The most beneficial part of this resource is the Your Turn Lesson. After every chapter, there are two lesson templates. The lessons are broken up into hook, purpose, brainstorm, model, shared/guided writing, independent writing, and reflections. It provides ideas and ready-made lessons that can be taken back to the classroom and implemented within literacy programs. This great addition allows teachers to better their practice and lessons.

“A Treasure Chest of Books” is offered in the last chapter, an interesting list of resources that includes many engaging poems that can be explored. Through this, one can find a creative and unique mentor poem for a specific purpose in a variety of classrooms.

While this book provides examples and lessons for K-8, I feel that many of the poetry examples are more suitable for grades 4 and up. However, I would still recommend this book for all grade levels. All the poems and lessons can be easily adapted to suit the needs of your class and grades. If you are looking for a step-by-step guide and an engaging way to incorporate poetry in your classroom, this is the book for you.

Jessica Crowley is a member of the Grand Erie Elementary Teacher Local.

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