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Teaching Evidence-Based Writing: Nonfiction

Teaching Evidence-Based Writing: Nonfiction
Texts and Lessons for Spot-On Writing About Reading

First Edition
Additional resources:

November 2016 | 208 pages | Corwin
One in a million. Yes, that’s how rare it is to have so many write-about-reading  strategies so beautifully put to use. Each year Leslie Blauman guides her students to become highly skilled at supporting their thinking about texts, and in Evidence-Based Writing: Nonfiction, she shares her win-win process. 

Leslie combed the ELA standards and all her favorite books and built a lesson structure you can use in two ways: with an entire text or with just the excerpts she’s included in the book. Addressing Evidence, Relationships, Main Idea, Point of View, Visuals, Words and Structure, each section includes:
Lessons you can use as teacher demonstrations or for guided practice, with Best the Test tips on how to authentically teach the skills that show up on exams with the texts you teach. 

Prompt Pages serve as handy references, giving students the key questions to ask themselves as they read any text and consider how an author’s meaning and structure combine.

Excerpts-to-Write About Pages feature carefully selected passages from current biographies, informational books, and articles on the topics you teach and questions that require students to discover a text’s literal and deeper meanings.

Write-About-Reading Templates scaffold students to think about a text efficiently by focusing on its critical craft elements or text structure demands and help them rehearse for more extensive responses.

Writing Tasks invite students to transform their notes into a more developed paragraph or essay with sufficiently challenging tasks geared for grades 6-8.

And best of all, your students gain a confidence in responding to complex texts and ideas that will serve them well in school, on tests, and in any situation when they are asked: What are you basing that on? Show me how you know. 

Section 1. Evidence
Lesson 1. Ask and Answer Questions
Write-About-Reading Template: Ask and Answer Questions

Excerpt to Write About: “Where Do Tornadoes Come From?” From How Come? Every Kid’s Science Questions Explained by Kathy Wollard

Lesson 2. Cite Evidence
Write-About-Reading Template: Prove It!

Excerpt to Write About: “The Storm Factory” From Hurricane Force: In the Path of America’s Deadliest Storms by Joseph B. Treaster

Lesson 3. Use Quotes to Summarize Text
Write-About-Reading Template: Build My Summary

Excerpt to Write About: “Saving Cheetahs” by Suzanne Zimbler

Lesson 4. Cite and Analyze
Write-About-Reading Template: Analyze and Cite Evidence

Excerpt to Write About: “The Computer” From What a Great Idea! Inventions That Changed the World by Stephen M. Tomecek

Section 2. Relationships
Lesson 5. Explain Events, Procedures, or Concepts
Write-About-Reading Template: Important Events and Ideas

Excerpts to Write About: “Enemy at the Gates” From Science Warriors: The Battle Against Invasive Species by Sneed B. Collard III

Lesson 6. Analyze How Authors Introduce, Illustrate, and Elaborate
Write-About-Reading Template: Introduce, Illustrate, and Elaborate

Excerpts to Write About: Albert Einstein Biographies: Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown; On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne; Who Was Albert Einstein? by Jess Brallier; Giants of Science: Albert Einstein by Kathl

Lesson 7. Describe Relationships and Interactions
Write-About-Reading Template: It’s All About Connections

Excerpt to Write About: “Opening Doors for Others” From Jackie Robinson: Strong Inside and Out by Denise Lewis Patrick

Lesson 8. Analyze the Connections Between People, Events, and Ideas
Write-About-Reading Template: Events, Individuals, and Ideas: How Do They Influence?

Excerpts to Write About: Influential Speeches: “The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln; “I Have a Dream” Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Section 3. Main Idea/Central Idea
Lesson 9. Identify Main Idea and Details
Write-About-Reading Template: Main Idea

Excerpts to Write About: “A Hurricane Arrives” From Violent Skies: Hurricanes by Chris Oxlade

Lesson 10. Understand Topics and Subtopics
Write-About-Reading Template: Topic Sentences

Excerpts to Write About: “White Death” From Avalanche! The Deadly Slide by Jane Duden

Lesson 11. Determine Central Ideas: Details
Write-About-Reading Template: Think About the Central Idea

Excerpt to Write About: “How Does a Chameleon Change Its Color?” From How Come? Planet Earth by Kathy Wollard

Lesson 12. Determine Multiple Ideas in a Text
Write-About-Reading Template: State the Central Idea

Excerpt to Write About: Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin

Section 4. Point of View
Lesson 13. What Is the Author’s Purpose?
Write-About-Reading Template: Author’s Point of View

Excerpt to Write About: Foreword by Jane Goodall From Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

Lesson 14. Determine Author’s Purpose and Point of View
Write-About-Reading Template: Notice Perspective

Excerpts to Write About: “Students Lead the Way” and “Retaliation and Intimidation” From The Split History of the Civil Rights Movement by Nadia Higgins

Lesson 15. Compare and Contrast Accounts
Write-About-Reading Template: Analyze Firsthand and Secondhand Accounts

Excerpts to Write About: Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories by Ellen Levine

Lesson 16. Explore Same Topic, Many Points of View
Write-About-Reading Template: Analyze Different Perspectives

Excerpts to Write About: Rosa Parks: Rosa by Nikki Giovanni; Rosa Parks: Civil Rights Pioneer by Karen Kelleher; Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks with Jim Haskins

Section 5. Visuals
Lesson 17. Mine Maps, Charts, and Other Visuals
Write-About-Reading Template: Visuals + Text = Better Understanding

Excerpt to Write About: “A Hot Topic” From Everything Volcanoes and Earthquakes by Kathy Furgang

Lesson 18. Read Digital and Print Efficiently
Write-About-Reading Template: On the Search!

Excerpt to Write About: “Drought in the Plains” From The Dust Bowl by Rebecca Langston-George

Section 6. Words and Structure
Lesson 19. Determine the Meaning of Specialized Words
Write-About-Reading Templates: Word Attack!; What Does This Word Mean?

Excerpt to Write About: Weather! by Rebecca Rupp

Lesson 20. Spot Words That Signal Text Structure
Write-About-Reading Template: Dig Into the Structure of the Text

Excerpt to Write About: “Death Valley’s Super Bloom” by Kio Herrera

Lesson 21. Identify Text Structure
Write-About-Reading Templates: Look at Structure Across a Text (for Use With Short Texts); Look at Structure Across a Text (for Grades 6–8)

Excerpts to Write About: Volcano Facts: “What Is a Volcano?” From Violent Volcanoes by Louise and Richard Spilsbury; Volcanoes by Seymour Simon; “The Volcano Wakes” From Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens by Patricia Lauber

Lesson 22. Compare and Contrast Overall Structure of Two or More Texts
Write-About-Reading Template: Compare and Contrast Text Structure

Excerpts to Write About: The Hindenburg Disaster: What Was the Hindenburg? by Janet B. Pascal; You Wouldn’t Want to Be on the Hindenburg! A Transatlantic Trip You’d Rather Skip by Ian Graham

Lesson 23. Evaluate the Reasoning, Relevance, and Sufficiency of Evidence
Write-About-Reading Template: Author’s Point

Excerpt to Write About: “How Octopuses Change Color” From The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery

Lesson 24. Delineate the Argument and Specific Claims
Write-About-Reading Template: Map the Argument

Excerpts to Write About: Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow



Companion Website
Companion website with QR codes - One on each of 6 section openers

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