Nonfiction Craft Lessons: Teaching Information Writing K-8

Writing nonfiction represents a big step for most students. Most young writers are not intimidated by personal narrative, fiction, or even poetry, but when they try to put together a “teaching book,” report, or persuasive essay, they often feel anxious and frustrated.

JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher believe that young nonfiction writers supply plenty of passion, keen interest, and wonder. Teachers can provide concrete strategies to help students scaffold their ideas as they write in his challenging genre.

Like the authors’ best-selling Craft Lessons: Teaching Writing K-8, this book is divided into sections for K-2, 3-4, and middle school (grades 5-8) students. These divisions reflect various differences between emerging, competent, and fluent writers. In each section you’ll find a generous collection of craft lessons directed at the genre that’s most appropriate for that particular age. In the K-2 section, for example, a number of craft lessons focus on the all-about or concept book. In the 3-4 section there are several lessons on biography. In the 5-8 section a series of lessons addresses expository writing. Throughout the book each of the 80 lessons is presented on a single page in an easy-to-read format.

Every lesson features three teaching guidelines:Discussion–A brief look at the reasons for teaching the particular element of craft specifically in a nonfiction context.How to Teach It–Concrete language showing exactly how a teacher might bring this craft element to students in writing conferences or a small-group setting.Resource Material–Specific book or text referred to in the craft lesson including trade books, or a piece of student writing in the Appendixes.

This book will help students breathe voice into lifeless “dump-truck” writing and improve their nonfiction writing by making it clearer, more authoritative, and more organized. Nonfiction Craft Lessons gives teachers a wealth of practical strategies to help students grow into strong writers as they explore and explain the world around them.

Be sure to look at the When Students Write videotapes too.

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|| Comments

    By Amber Gregg on December 13, 2017

    “The best nonfiction writing begins with a writer’s passionate curiosity about … “The best nonfiction writing begins with a writer’s passionate curiosity about a subject.”Genre: Education and Teaching.Number of Pages: 148.This book is meant to teach information writing in elementary and middle school, but I think that it can also be useful for high school and college English courses. I think that the instructor would just have to take some of the ideas and alter it to fit the age of the student. However, there are many older students that still…

    By Jennifer Rodriguez on December 13, 2017

    Strong model lessons for writing teachers Portalupi and Fletcher are the pioneers of the Writer’s Workshop. This book is extremely helpful for both novice and experienced teachers with model mini-lessons that can be used to teach students discrete writing skills (such as adding supporting details, listening for your voice, writing an engaging hook) throughout the writing process. All of the lessons are marked with grade ranges for which they are appropriate (K-2, 3-4, 5-8) and suggestions for mentor texts. This was a valuable…

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