Writers Read Better: Nonfiction
50+ Paired Lessons That Turn Writing Craft Work Into Powerful Genre Reading
Elementary Language Arts
We know that writing skills reinforce reading skills, but what’s the best way to capitalize on this beneficial relationship? By flipping the traditional “reading lesson first, writing lesson second” sequence, Colleen Cruz ingeniously helps you make the most of the writing-to-reading connection with carefully matched, conceptually connected lesson pairs. The result is a healthy reciprocity that effectively and efficiently develops students’ literacy skills.
Backed by long-term academic and field research, Writers Read Better presents a series of 50 tightly interconnected lesson pairs that can be implemented either as supplement existing curriculum or as a stand alone module. Each pairing leads with a writing lesson, used as a springboard for the reading lesson that will follow.
Throughout the book’s four sections, organized to cover distinct and complementary phases of working with non-fiction texts, you’ll discover
- Helpful insights on preparing for the section’s overarching goals
- Clear guidance on the intention of each lesson, what materials are required, and step-by-step plans for leading the activity
- Sample teacher language for leading the lesson
- Tips on building and organizing your classroom library, and how you can incorporate the tools, technology and media available in your classroom to make each lesson most effective
- Sample student work, online videos and other supporting resources
Complete with practical suggestions on adapting the lessons to suit the particular needs of your classroom as well as individual students, Writers Reader Better offers a solid foundation for giving your students the advantage of powerful, transferable literacy skills.
Lots of books teach us the reasons why writing matters, yet Colleen adds a new reason to the list: Writing can be a lever that lifts our kids' reading work. And that can happen even when kids are not writing about reading, but are, instead, doing their own important writing work. Once again, Colleen nudges us forward.
Colleen offers literacy teachers a valuable comprehension instruction ‘hack’: help students get inside the brains of the writers they read by doing the same kind of writing themselves before they read. She argues convincingly that the more students understand how something was made, the better they’ll understand it when they encounter it as readers. She doesn’t just offer compelling research to prove it; she offers teachers dozens of paired lessons so that students will read and write information texts with more power. The lessons are streamlined to allow students maximum time for practice and application, and to help the busy teacher go from the page to the classroom quickly and almost effortlessly. I encourage all upper elementary and middle school teachers to give these lesson sets a try!
Most professional books on teaching nonfiction focus on teaching writing or reading, but not both. In this unique book, Colleen Cruz shows us how to teach complementary writing and reading lessons that will help students use what they’re learning about nonfiction writing to help them become more powerful nonfiction readers
This book refuels your energy to think about the way you plan and teach reading and writing. Colleen holds strong to the tenets of workshop—choice, voice, and agency—then beautifully blends the lessons and theory with her vast experience in classrooms, new research on writing and reading, and the dance we do with it all now in the digital world. The structure of the book and the lessons are completely accessible for all teachers, the way Colleen believes the learning and craft to be accessible for all students. It’s a gamechanger for those looking to augment and reflect on their current workshop model and for those who are going to give it a go. Colleen is with you every step of the way.