Writing Freebie

Free Sound Wall and Writing Folders

Build writing confidence, as your students take ownership of the writing process, with these FREE personal sound walls and writing folders!

⎯ Writing ⎯

15 of the Best Personal Narrative Mentor Texts for Kindergarten

Personal narrative stories are all around us, but helping young writers discover this can be a challenge! One of my favorite ways to inspire and teach the many aspects personal narratives encompass is with a plethora of personal narrative mentor texts. These personal narrative mentor texts are great for generating ideas, teaching about the power of pictures, zooming in on one small moment, and how to end a story beyond “The end!” Plus, discover how to use each of these personal narrative mentor texts in your early elementary classroom!

Help students generate ideas and zoom in on one small moment with this complete list of personal narrative mentor texts for kindergarten! This list of mentor texts for personal narratives are great for generating story ideas and adding details to small moment stories. Use these writing mentor texts within your writing lesson plans. Refer back to these writing workshop mentor texts throughout the personal narrative writing process. Learn about my favorite personal narrative activities now!

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Any purchases made through one of our links earns us a small commission, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All creative ideas and opinions expressed are purely our own. Read our full privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Personal Narrative Mentor Texts for Generating Ideas

Idea Jar by Adam Lehrhaupt

In “Idea Jar,” readers are introduced to a teacher’s incredible idea jar, where students deposit their imaginative ideas. From Vikings to space robots to mighty dragons, the jar is filled with a gamut of exciting concepts waiting to be explored. However, when these ideas escape, they might just cause some mischief!

Idea Jar
$16.65
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:10 pm GMT

After reading this writing workshop mentor text, I draw a giant jar on anchor chart paper. Then, we fill the jar with as many story ideas as possible. With our idea jar, the writing possibilities are endless!

Recommended Resources:

Writing Workshop Presentation Slides for Generating Writing Ideas

Writing Workshop Presentation Slides for Generating Writing Ideas

Digital & Printable Personal Narrative Writing Prompts Writing Center

Digital & Printable Personal Narrative Writing Prompts Writing Center

Writing Workshop Presentation for How to Write a Sentence

Writing Workshop Presentation for How to Write a Sentence

Too Many Toys by David Shannon

Spencer finds himself drowning in a sea of toys! They clutter every corner, causing his father to stumble, his mother to trip, and the house to overflow with clutter. It’s time to declutter and donate some of the goodies, but parting with them proves to be a challenge for Spencer. In the end, he manages to fill a box, only to realize that the one toy he cannot bear to part with is… the box itself!

Too Many Toys
$10.39
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:11 pm GMT

“Too Many Toys” lends itself to a wonderful conversation. . .’writers write about things they know a lot about.’  Similar to “Idea Jar,” create a whole class anchor chart where you capture a list of things/ideas students know a lot about. After doing so, I like to introduce our personal heart maps where students fill in their heart with story ideas.

Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Miles embarks on his first visit to the barbershop alongside his father. Like many boys his age, he’s nervous about the sharp scissors, buzzing razor, and the decision of choosing a new hairstyle. However, with the encouragement of his dad, the barber, and the supportive atmosphere of the barbershop, Miles courageously endures his inaugural haircut.

Bippity Bop Barbershop
$7.19
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:11 pm GMT

Like the above personal narrative mentor texts, “Bippity Bop Barbershop” is a powerful text for generating ideas. It’s relatable nature reminds students that even simple everyday tasks, such as getting your haircut, can be a story topic. It is also a great writing workshop mentor text for zooming in on one small moment. A short fifteen minute haircut can span an entire book!

The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli

The library organizes a competition to find the most exceptional story. Yet, what constitutes a great story? For Tim, the narrator’s brother, it’s thrilling adventures. Their father insists on the importance of humor, while Aunt Jane champions tear-jerking narratives. However, a story blending all these elements seems disjointed. Amidst varying viewpoints, the family unanimously concludes: the finest story is one that genuinely mirrors one’s own experiences.

The Best Story
$13.13
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:12 pm GMT

“The Best Story” is one of those personal narrative mentor texts that I like to use at the beginning of our unit, as it allows us to discuss what makes a great story. Plus, it works well as a springboard for generating ideas from our personal experiences.

Personal Narrative Mentor Texts for Pictures

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Daisy is devastated when her favorite ball is being destroyed by a larger dog. “A Ball for Daisy” is told solely through illustrations, making it the perfect personal narrative mentor text for beginning writers.

After reading this writing workshop mentor text, ask students to write a story solely using pictures. Then ask them to share their story with a peer. This is great for building writing confidence and teaching students how powerful pictures are in the writing process.

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

A bunny has a box. When others ask about the box, the bunny consistently responds that it’s “not a box.” Despite the box being a simple object, the bunny transforms it into various imaginative and playful scenarios. The illustrations depict the box becoming a mountain, a robot costume, a race care and other inventive creations.

“Not a Box” is another one of those personal narrative mentor texts that really focuses on the power of illustrations, reminding students that a story is not just told with words, but pictures too.

Not a Box
$13.29
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:14 pm GMT

We use this writing workshop mentor text as we begin to draw our stories with pictures. Just like the bunny’s box is transformed into various creations, we can transform basic shapes into all sorts of objects. During the next few writing workshop mini lessons, we spend time using simple shapes to draw various objects.

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Ramon loves to draw. However, his confidence is shattered when his older brother laughs at his drawings, criticizing them as not being “real” drawings. Feeling discouraged, Ramon gives up on drawing until his younger sister Marisol discovers his crumpled drawings and admires them. She interprets his imperfect drawings in creative and imaginative ways, seeing them as “ish” versions of objects like trees, boats, and houses. Inspired by Marisol’s perspective, Ramon begins to embrace the idea of drawing “ish-ly” and discovers the joy of creating without worrying about perfection.

Ish (Creatrilogy)
$9.94
Buy Now
06/17/2024 10:04 pm GMT

Similar to the previous personal narrative mentor texts, “Ish” is perfect for reminding students that pictures are powerful and there is no need to be perfect in what is drawn.

Find more personal narrative mentor texts for telling a story through pictures here!

Personal Narrative Mentor Texts for Zooming In

A Moment in Time by Jennifer Butenas

Embark on a delightful journey with a family of four as they embrace a sunny day on Cape Cod, in “A Moment of Time.” Through lively rhythm and rhyme, experience the warmth and joy of their summer adventure. From savoring every moment to discovering the beauty of mindful living, this charming tale celebrates the simple pleasures that a single moment can offer.

A Moment In Time
$9.99
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:15 pm GMT

This is one of the best personal narrative mentor texts for teaching students how to zoom in on one small moment. After reading this story one time through, go back and reread, pointing out how Jennifer Butenas zooms in on the details of one moment in time.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

“The Watermelon Seed” is about an anxious crocodile whose greatest fear is swallowing a watermelon seed. But what happens when his worst nightmare comes true? Will vines sprout from his ears? Will his skin take on a pink hue? With an imagination as wild as his, this crocodile’s antics are sure to delight kids.

The Watermelon Seed
$12.79
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:16 pm GMT

This is one of my favorite personal narrative mentor texts for zooming in on one small moment. After reading the story, I introduce the concept of a watermelon story vs. a seed story.  I start by drawing a giant watermelon on anchor chart paper. Then, I write a “watermelon story” inside the pink part of the watermelon. As a class, we break this larger story into several small moments. I write these “seed stories” inside the watermelon seeds.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari stands poised at the edge of the diving board, brimming with confidence. Having completed his swimming lessons and aced his swim test, he’s a proficient jumper, devoid of fear. Observing the other children take their turns, he nonchalantly remarks, “Looks easy.” Yet, as his dad offers reassurance with a comforting squeeze of his hand, Jabari reciprocates the gesture, acknowledging a hint of nervousness. Determined to make his jump special, he contemplates the perfect technique and decides to limber up with some stretches before ascending the diving board.

Jabari Jumps
$6.69
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:17 pm GMT

“Jabari Jumps” is another one of those personal narrative mentor texts that allows you to really highlight what it looks and sounds like to zoom in on one small moment, just like Jabari working up the courage to jump.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Peter, a young boy, adventures through the city on a snowy day. The story captures Peter’s excitement and wonder as he explores his neighborhood covered in snow. Peter engages in various activities such as making snow angels, building a snowman, and leaving footprints in the freshly fallen snow.

The Snowy Day
$5.19
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:18 pm GMT

After reading “The Snowy Day,” we create a whole class story of one moment in our classroom, whether that be recounting our morning meeting or reflecting on the math game played the day prior.

Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats

In “Peter’s Chair,” a young boy named Peter is adjusting to the arrival of a new baby sister. He feels frustrated and displaced when he sees that his parents are painting his old cradle pink for the baby and using his crib for her. Peter must do anything he can to save his little blue chair from being painted, even if that means running away. As the story progresses, Peter’s parents acknowledge his feelings and assure him that he is still loved and valued, despite the changes happening in the family.

Peter’s Chair
$7.19
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:18 pm GMT

Similar to “The Snowy Day,” “Peter’s Chair” lends itself nicely to a mini lesson about zooming in and portraying the character’s feelings.

Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee

A group of riders, including one person who has never done this before, are eagerly awaiting their turn for the roller coaster. Once they are on the rollercoaster, they zoom, swerve, dip, and dive… and the reactions of the riders are quite hilarious.

Roller Coaster
$7.91
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:19 pm GMT

As with the previous personal narrative mentor texts, “Roller Coaster” is perfect for illustrating the concept of zooming in on one small moment… in this case, riding a roller coaster.  It is also great for helping students expand on their ideas, through conveying emotions with actions.

Personal Narrative Mentor Texts for Endings

Bigmama’s by Donald Crews

Four children are off to visit their grandmother’s house, which is affectionately known as “Bigmama’s.” The story explores the bustling and vibrant atmosphere of Bigmama’s house, where family members gather, delicious food is prepared, and joyful interactions occur.

Bigmama’s
$6.99
Buy Now
06/17/2024 11:20 pm GMT

The ending of “Bigmama’s” allows students to understand that an ending doesn’t have to end with “The End,” or “I had fun,” but rather ends in the moment with a feeling. The narrator cannot wait for the next summer when he returns to Bigmama’s house.

One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

The story starts with a seemingly ordinary day for the imaginative storyteller, a girl yearning for adventure: “One day… I went to school. I came home. The end.” Yet, beneath this simplicity, the illustrations unveil a cascade of mishaps during her school journey, ultimately leading to a delightfully unexpected ending. Through inventive storytelling, each picture unravels numerous amusing narratives, ultimately inspiring the narrator’s grand ambition: “One day… I wished to pen a book.”

After reading “One Day, The End,” we generate a list of possible endings that will leave the reader in the moment rather than simply writing “The End.” This mentor text is also wonderful for helping students realize that even everyday activities are exciting stories to be told!

Personal Narrative Writing Activities

Writing Workshop Presentation Slides for Generating Ideas

After reading some of the personal narrative mentor texts for generating ideas, use these 65 presentation slides to guide students as they think of their own story ideas.

Writing Workshop Presentation Slides for Generating Writing Ideas

Digital & Printable Personal Narrative Journal Writing Prompts

Pair these personal narrative mentor texts with these digital and printable personal narrative writing prompts!

Digital & Printable Writing Prompts Personal Narrative, Opinion & Informational

More Writing Mentor Texts

Kickoff the school year with any of these personal narrative Mentor Texts for Launching Writing Workshop!

Get students excited about the writing journey they are about to embark on with this complete list of mentor texts for launching writing workshop! These mentor texts for launching writer's workshop will help build writing confidence in your kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students. Integrate any of these writing mentor texts into your writing lessons. These writing workshop mentor texts will help with generating writing ideas, being confident writers and so much more! Grab the list!

Explore the list of Mentor Texts for How-To Writing here!

Boost engagement and help students better understand procedural writing with these 15 how-to writing mentor texts for kindergarten and first grade! These procedural writing mentor texts help students understand sequential writing as well as transition words for their how-to writing pieces. Use these how-to mentor texts for your writing mini lessons and allow students to use them as a model as they work on their own informational writing. You will also find how-to writing activities & crafts!

Discover my favorite Opinion Writing Mentor Texts here!

Opinion writing can be a bit of a struggle for kindergarten and first grade students, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 20 opinion writing mentor texts that will help students construct their opinion writing or persuasive writing piece. These mentor texts for opinion writing include The Day The Crayons Quit, Red is Best, and Hey, Little Ant. Plus, find opinion writing activities, including The Day The Crayons Quit activity and craft. Read these opinion writing books today!

Check out the complete list of Informational Writing Mentor Texts here!

Help students better understand the informational writing process with these informational writing mentor texts, authors and series! This comprehensive list of mentor texts for informational writing will help build confident writers as they dive into writing their own informational writing piece or all about writing piece. These writing mentor texts are filled with nonfiction text features. Use these as part of your writing mini lessons or independent writing activities during writing workshop!

 DON’T FORGET IT… PIN IT!

Help students generate ideas and zoom in on one small moment with this complete list of personal narrative mentor texts for kindergarten! This list of mentor texts for personal narratives are great for generating story ideas and adding details to small moment stories. Use these writing mentor texts within your writing lesson plans. Refer back to these writing workshop mentor texts throughout the personal narrative writing process. Learn about my favorite personal narrative activities now!
Help students generate ideas and zoom in on one small moment with this complete list of personal narrative mentor texts for kindergarten! This list of mentor texts for personal narratives are great for generating story ideas and adding details to small moment stories. Use these writing mentor texts within your writing lesson plans. Refer back to these writing workshop mentor texts throughout the personal narrative writing process. Learn about my favorite personal narrative activities now!
Ashley Sharp Pos Bio Image

Ashley Sharp

As a dedicated Kindergarten teacher for nearly 20 years, I believe the words “fun, play, and creativity” can sit right alongside the words “developmentally appropriate, engaging, and rigorous.” Learning is meant to be fun and messy!

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.