Margin Notes

The Rule of Three (because three becomes a thing)


I have written about Katie Wood Ray’s advice to “read like teachers of writing” and my habit of recording examples of writer’s craft I find in my reading that I want to use as mentors in writing workshops with students and teachers.  I believe this lens also means that we read the world as though it is one big source of mentor texts.  I am always on the look-out for forms of writing or organizing structures that students could try out and when I find a group of at least three similar texts, I think that is the magic number for an inquiry.  Three makes it a “thing.” Three (or more) similar texts allow students to answer the question, “What do you notice about the way these texts are written?” and find commonalities across the samples.  Groupings of texts widen the opportunities for writers to look at the text and ask themselves what elements they might like to incorporate into their own writing.