Mentor Text: Crow Call

It’s Tuesday, which means I’m posting about another terrific Mentor Text for Writer’s Workshop!  Woo hoo!  Once this is posted, I’m 2 for 2!

Crow Call, by Lois Lowry is an AMAZING mentor text for so many reasons.  Those who have been lucky enough to hang out with Lucy Calkins over at Teacher’s College rave about this text, so this one may have the tendency to be a bit over-raved about (if there is such a thing!).  Oh well…no harm in putting Crow Call out there again, huh?

The beauty of Crow Call lies in its simplicity.  Rich, earthy-hued illustrations perfectly accentuate this understated narrative about a little girl who gets reacquainted with her father on a short hunting outing.

The girl’s body language speaks volumes to the author’s craft of “showing, not telling.”  Crow Call is the perfect book for illustrating this technique with young readers.

It is also the perfect book for teaching the following:

  • Memoir
  • Personal Narrative
  • Small moments
  • Crystal clear details
  • Strategy:  Write About an Important Person–Idea Generating
  • Zooming in to tell the story


Crow Call is destined to become my “go to book” next year as I plan on using this text numerous times to explicitly instruct my young writers.
How have you used this book?  I’d love to hear about your experiences with Crow Call!

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