Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fantasy Mentor Text

It has just come to our attention in Virginia that the 5th graders have a chance of getting a prompt to respond to on their Writing SOL assessment that will ask them to compose a story and that story may also have fantasy elements in it.

Here's an example of one of the 14 prompts that ask for a story to be composed, with fantasy elements included:   Imagine a fish popped its head out of the water and said something. What would you do? Write a story about what happened. Be sure to include details.

To help prepare the students at my school, I am planning to teach them explicitly how to write a story by following the superb lessons in Lucy Calkins' Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3-5. In Book 4 called Writing Fiction: Big Dreams, Tall Ambitions students are encouraged to live like fiction writers; to collect story ideas by observing their own lives; to create characters with wants and struggles; and to use story arcs to create rising action.

While teaching this unit, I plan to immerse students in fiction reading so they will have mentor texts to learn from. But since most of the prompts for the 5th grade writing SOL also have a fantasy element involved, my school librarian found the following fiction picture books, all with some fantasy elements included.


  1. What a great idea! I had just seen that there had been writing prompts posted, but I hadn't looked at them yet. I'm sending this link to my 5th grade teachers. Thanks!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  2. I just mentioned you on my blog. Please come over to grab your RACK (one item from my store) and link up!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  3. Hi Sally!

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    First Grade in Foxwell Forest