An exploration of the affordances of mentor texts

Everyday texts and Japanese sixth grade writing curriculum


  • Lucy K. Spence University of South Carolina
  • Emiko Hashimoto Kansai University





The purpose of this study was to explore writing in sixth-grade textbooks in Japan and the affordances of contemporary everyday texts to be used alongside textbooks as mentor texts for writing. Mentor texts are often used in writing instruction; however, their affordances have not been well-researched. Considering that Japanese teachers modify textbook lessons with other materials, we sought out everyday adult and children’s texts found in newsstands, bookstores, convenience stores, internet sources, and libraries that shared some features with textbook genres of writing. Textbook lessons and everyday texts were analyzed using concepts from social semiotics to discover their organization, producer, user, design, layout and multimodal elements. The affordances of textbook lessons and everyday texts functioning as material resources are developed in this paper through three focal genres, poetry, informative, and persuasive writing.

Author Biographies

Lucy K. Spence, University of South Carolina

Lucy K. Spence is an associate professor in the department of Instruction & Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina, USA. She has recently published ‘Generous Reading Expands Teachers’ Perceptions on Student Writing’ in Teaching and Teacher Education.

Emiko Hashimoto, Kansai University

Emiko Hashimoto is an English teacher who has taught at the K-12 level and at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan.


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How to Cite

Spence, L. K., & Hashimoto, E. (2021). An exploration of the affordances of mentor texts: Everyday texts and Japanese sixth grade writing curriculum. Writing and Pedagogy, 12(1), 23–46.