By request, I am sharing a brief post about the shop ticket holders I’m using to showcase student crafted mentor texts.  In early September, I purchased these neon shop ticket holders from Amazon; I chose these because I wanted an easy way to showcase mentor texts in my classroom.  Bonus:  this particular kind adds a pop of color to your classroom, and you can organize mentor texts by color.


You can hang these on a hook in your classroom, or you can simply make them available for students to pick up and take back to their seats for mentor text study.  These shop ticket holders were especially helpful last week as I introduced two new poetry writing strategies to my students:

  • Poems written off a list (a method I learned a few years ago when YA author Kelly Bingham did a daylong visit to my media center and did poetry writing with students)
  • “I Am Old and New” poems, a poem writing strategy I got from the Pongo Teen Writing Project.  I learned about this group through our former Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway, a poet who inspires me as a teacher and as a writer.

Students in my Writer’s Workshop and Writing Connections classes (grades 6-8) could choose to craft their next poem using either strategy.  While I had provided a model texts for both kinds of poems (one crafted by me, one from a teen at the Pongo Teen Writing Project), I decided to showcase student crafted drafts in progress after two of my students showed me “share-ready” drafts.  With their permission, I captured their drafts as well as the planning work they put into their poems using my scanner app on my iPhone.  I then printed copies and placed them in the shop ticket holders.  I used the neon orange and red shop ticket holders to showcase Alex’s poem written off a list; I used the neon yellow and green shop ticket holders to share Wren’s “old and new” poem draft and planning template.  I then introduced them at the beginning of the class the next day for help students who were struggling with their drafting or moving from the planning list and template to a poem draft.  I also took time to read each poem aloud to every class as I introduced the mentor texts from my students.



This seems like a small detail, but I know many of us are always scouting for tools and materials to help us facilitate the flow of our writing workshop.   These shop ticket holders are an inexpensive and terrific investment for protecting and sharing student crafted mentor text and writing!  What kinds of materials do you use to feature mentor texts either from known writers or from your own students?