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4 French Narrative Writing Mentor Texts You’ll Love

We all know the importance of using French read alouds in the classroom, especially when teaching narrative writing. But French narrative writing mentor texts can be hard to find! I’ve compiled a list of French children’s books I love using when teaching narrative writing in French to my students, and I think you will find them useful, too!

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Teach topic ideas with Les histoires de Raffi

Les histoires de Raffi is about a boy who does everything he can to avoid writing. He can’t think of what to say and feels self-conscious because his classmates seem to have no problem writing their stories! Writing is hard for a lot of students, so they can relate to Raffi’s struggles. This French narrative writing mentor text is a great way to introduce a lesson on brainstorming and how to come up with writing topics when you’re feeling stuck.

Les histoires de Raffi is a great French narrative writing mentor text that helps you teach about finding a topic to write about.

Pancakes for Breakfast is a perfect French narrative writing mentor text for adding details

While this book is technically in English, it doesn’t have any words (other than the title). This makes it a fun choice for a narrative mentor text because students can write their own story using the images.

This book is about an old woman who wakes up one morning and decides she wants to make pancakes for breakfast. She collects what she needs and then feeds her pancakes to some animals. I love using this when teaching narrative writing because it shows how detailed and clear illustrations are just as important as a story. Use this book to teach your students to add details to their images to make things clear for the reader.

Pancakes for Breakfast is a perfect French narrative writing mentor text to work on adding details to your images.

Read Rocket écrit une histoire to encourage students to use their prior experiences to write

This is one of my favourite French children’s books. It’s about a dog named Rocket who really loves books and wants to write his own, but he doesn’t know what to write about! To get inspiration for his story, he explores his environment, befriending a shy little owl along the way.

Like the Raffi book, this narrative mentor text is great for talking about how you can find inspiration when you’re a bit stuck. Challenge students to use their environment to become inspired to write their stories, just like Rocket!

A French book to help teach students how to do narrative writing and choose a writing topic.

Le Livre sans images is a silly French mentor text

This book is the opposite of Pancakes for Breakfast; it has only words and no pictures! While it’s a bit of a silly book, it’s great for narrative writing lessons and showing how the words students choose are important to conveying their story. 

While reading this book, remind students that if they want to evoke a specific feeling or thought in their readers, they should carefully choose their words. This is also the perfect French children’s book to read during a narrative writing lesson on revising your writing by adding more details.

A French mentor text for teaching the importance of word choice when doing narrative writing.

Want extra support with your French narrative writing unit?

This done-for-you French Narrative Writing Unit works great with grade one through three, and includes all the elements you’ll need for a well-rounded unit. Get access to nine lesson plans, writing pages, assessment rubrics, and more to help students go from planning to writing to creating a final draft. This unit is easy to differentiate since students will be working at their own level, making it perfect for Kindergarten all the way to Grade 3!

A French Narrative writing unit, including mentor text suggestions, lesson plans, and assessment rubrics.

Make sure to add these books to your Amazon wishlist so you have them for your next narrative writing unit. Then, check out this blog post about how to introduce narrative writing to your Primary French.

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