Mentor Text Review: Meet… The Flying Doctors

  • Author: George Ivanoff
  • Illustrator: Ben Wood
  • Publisher: Random House Australia

Looking for an engaging mentor text for non-fiction writing? Check out the books in the Australian ‘Meet…’ series. Meet… The Flying Doctors was written by George Ivanoff and illustrated by Ben Wood. It’s proof of the fact that information writing does not need to be voiceless. Hallelujah to that!

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

Teachers often say they find VOICE to be the hardest trait to teach. Remember: when teaching voice; in fiction writing it’s the voice of the characters and in non-fiction writing it’s the voice of the author. This text shows what voice in non-fiction writing looks and sounds like. It’s written in an engaging voice that compels the reader to read on. It would be the perfect text to read alongside a voiceless piece of non-fiction writing (such as an excerpt from Wikipedia) to highlight the difference.

ORGANISATION of an information report, with a strong and interesting lead, logical flow of details and strong concluding sentence.

WORD CHOICE- demonstrate how technical words are used in information report writing, as well as how specific words have been selected to add to the voice of the piece (eg. ‘There’s this man on the $20 note’ instead of ‘On the $20 note you will find a man’).

CONVENTIONS- explore the use of the comma in complex sentences.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

DETERMINING IMPORTANCE- This non-fiction narrative would be great for discussing important facts versus interesting facts. Which ones needed to be included? Which ones are nice to have but not completely necessary?

Students could MAKE CONNECTIONS to other books with a similar approach to conveying information or other books on a similar topic. Comparing this text to a more formal non-fiction text on the topic would be an excellent way to discuss the impact of different styles of writing.

QUESTIONING- before, during and after reading this book what questions do you have? What do you wonder? What are you left wanting to find out more

SYNTHESISING- encourage students to complete a KWL (already Know, Want to know, Learned) think sheet as they read this book.

The ADVANCED Writing Traits Masterclass is finally here!