I’m taking this mentor text in a different direction today. Since this is a blog post, I’m going to demonstrate how I use another writer’s blog as a mentor text for my own blog post. Barb’s post on using pictures as mentor texts really inspired me to try on her ideas so, here goes! Using a blog post, about using pictures as a mentor text, as a mentor text.
Barb’s post asks us to first write what we notice in the picture, or to “read” the photo. Here is what I first notice:
boat, huge wave, no people present
- The settings appears to be on water, a large body of water such as an ocean, to produce such a large amount of water surrounding the boat.
Point of View
- The picture seems to have been taken by someone standing on a level higher than the deck about to be submerged in water.
- It is also possible that the end of the boat on which the photographer was standing was higher (as if in the air) while the front end of the boat was dipping down, or diving, into the water.
- It doesn’t feel like the photographer is in danger of the water.
- Right before this, I imagine that the people on board the boat heard a warning sound and were able to run to safety at the other end of the boat.
- Right after this picture was taken, I imagine the waves making direct contact with the boat. This would lead to unimaginable damage and chaos, as wood is crushed, people and objects are thrown into the air and submerged under churning waters.
- With no “characters” present in the photo, I’m left to wonder about the photographer’s presence in this scene and whether or not anyone else is around.
- Did the photographer put him or herself in danger?
- Where was this photo taken?
- What happened to the boat?
- Could someone survive something like this?
As I dissect each of these elements, following along with the model of my mentor text, my brain is churning with story ideas. I could easily use this picture to create a narrative. I could also use this as a springboard for research about tidal waves, tsunamis, or boating incidents, leading to some sort of informative writing. Armed with such information, I might be able to write an argumentative piece about boat safety. Wow! Hitting all three of the main text types called out in the Common Core State Standards just from one picture. Imaging what students could do with this?
- Have you used pictures as mentor texts with students?
- What other websites or resources do you recommend for finding engaging, writing-worthy pictures?
- What stories do you notice in the pictures below (the last one is one of my favorites!)?