Ask students to keep notes about the author’s craft or stylistic choices as they read. This can be done in a writer’s notebook or a double entry journal (Links to an external site.). This can be open and self-directed as students individually record their noticings, but it can be made more teacher directed by assigning students to seek out examples of specific examples of writer’s craft, stylistic choices, language use, etc. Students can also be invited to create their own versions of the examples they find in their reading. Periodically throughout the reading time, students should spend time reflecting on the notes they have collected to make observations about elements of the author’s style and their impact on the reader. This can be done in writing or in small group discussions.

Additionally for 6-8:

Prompt readers to make observations about the writer’ craft and stylistic choices:

  • Select a mentor sentence and ask students to discuss word choice or punctuation.
  • Ask students to focus on organization, word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, or text features (font, spacing, images, etc.) and explain using examples what choices they see the author has made.
  • Prompt students to reflect on the impact of the writer’s choices by asking them to describe how they affect them as a reader, how they help the writer achieve their purpose, and how they contribute to the text overall.
  • Encourage students to try out new techniques in their own writing.
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