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More About the Authors

Authors and Illustrators Mentor Our Youngest Writers

By Lisa B Cleaveland

Lisa Cleaveland shares what she considers the most crucial aspect of her teaching. “When authors and illustrators are mentors, you teach students more about <em>how </em>to learn from their mentors than <em>what</em> to learn.” Learn how to: <ul> <li>engage children by helping them discover mentor authors</li> <li>connect writers to the curriculum as they notice and name the moves their mentors make</li> <li>plan powerful units around mentor authors</li> <li>position students to mentor one another.</li> </ul>

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“My hope is that More About the Authors will help you see how shifting your thinking about mentors can make such a difference in your teaching.”

—Lisa Cleaveland

This is not your typical book on mentor texts. Lisa Cleaveland will show you why in her classroom authors and illustrators do the mentoring, not their texts. While this may seem like mere semantics, it’s actually a singularly powerful instructional shift. “Books don’t make themselves,” writes Lisa, “authors and illustrators do, and my students know this because they make books too.”

About the Authors¸ introduced tens of thousands of teachers to Lisa’s primary writing workshop. Now she shares what she considers the most crucial aspect of her teaching. “When authors and illustrators are mentors, you teach students more about how to learn from their mentors than what to learn.” With Lisa you’ll:

  • engage children by helping them discover mentor authors
  • connect writers to the curriculum as they notice and name the moves their mentors make
  • plan powerful units of study around mentor authors
  • position students to mentor one another.

Along the way, Lisa illustrates the effectiveness of this approach with full-color examples of students’ work as well as transcripts of a question-and-answer session between her writers and famed children’s author and illustrator Marla Frazee. You’ll see firsthand how closely examining a mentor’s work can lead little ones to big insights about writing.

“What I have realized,” writes Lisa Cleaveland, “is that it’s all about finding mentors for writing and illustrating.” Find out just how powerful this slight shift in thinking can be as you find out More About the Authors.

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