Mentor texts or anchor texts are books that can be used as an example of good writing for students. Students can use the writing in these books to improve their own writing.
When I work with students, I usually read the text and work on reading strategies while we are reading. You'll see in the posts that I tell you what reading strategies I might work on with a book. Lots of times they can overlap but most of the time I focus on one strategy while I'm reading with a student. You'll also find the examples of good writing you'll find in the text. I've found from reading with Peanut that we love to come across fun words in books. Since he's only three, he's not writing yet, but there are lots of times when he'll use a word or phrase he's heard from a book we've read. There are so many great ways to play with language and books are such a perfect way to expose kids to what we can do. Older students can practice writing like an author or use a book to generate ideas for writing.
I'm sure you'll find your own ways to use the books and I hope you'll share in the comment section!