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Writers Read Better: Nonfiction
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Writers Read Better: Nonfiction
50+ Paired Lessons That Turn Writing Craft Work Into Powerful Genre Reading



July 2018 | 248 pages | Corwin

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.

 
List of Videos
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
How to Use This Book
 
PART 1. LESSONS FOR GENERATING IDEAS—AND INTERPRETING AUTHOR’S PURPOSE
What You Will Find in This Section  
When to Use These Lessons  
Preparing to Use the Lessons  
 
LESSON 1
Writing: An Author’s Expertise Matters  
Reading: Considering the Source  
 
LESSON 2
Writing: Write About What You Take for Granted  
Reading: Learning Unexpected Things From Familiar Topics  
 
LESSON 3
Writing: The Relationship Between an Author’s Passions and Stance  
Reading: Identifying an Author’s Stance  
 
LESSON 4
Writing: Narrowing Down a Broad Topic  
Reading: Understanding Topics and Subtopics  
 
LESSON 5
Writing: The Role of Structure in Informational Texts  
Reading: Considering How Choices in Structure Affect Meaning  
 
LESSON 6
Writing: Using Structure to Convey the Writer’s Intent  
Reading: Inferring the Author’s Intent by Noticing Structure  
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Choosing the Best Platform for Your Information and Audience  
Reading: Considering Why Authors Might Choose Analogue or Digital Mediums  
 
PART 2. LESSONS FOR DRAFTING—AND UNDERSTANDING AUTHOR’S CRAFT
What You Will Find in This Section  
When to Use These Lessons  
Preparing to Use the Lessons  
 
LESSON 7
Writing: Drafting What You’re Most Ready to Write  
Reading: Spotting What’s Most Important to an Author  
 
LESSON 8
Writing: Structure Within Sections: Stacking Information  
Reading: Identifying the Way Information Is Stacked  
 
LESSON 9
Writing: Drafting With Placeholders for Later Facts  
Reading: Using Jots to Note Facts Quickly  
 
LESSON 10
Writing: Taking a Draft Break to Research  
Reading: Noticing the Various Ways Authors Use Quotation Marks  
 
LESSON 11
Writing: Drafting With an Audience in Mind  
Reading: Noticing the Different Genres of Various Publications on the Same Topic  
 
LESSON 12
Writing: Drafting in a Mood or Tone That Matches the Content  
Reading: Noticing When the Tone Doesn’t Match the Topic  
 
LESSON 13
Writing: Drafting to Someone Else’s Specifications  
Reading: Noticing a Publisher’s Approach  
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Fact-Checking Digital Information for Accuracy  
Reading: Identifying False Information  
 
PART 3. LESSONS FOR REVISING FOR POWER, CRAFT, ANALYSIS, AND CRITIQUE
What You Will Find in This Section  
When to Use These Lessons  
Preparing to Use the Lessons  
 
LESSON 14
Writing: Deciding What’s Most Important to Revise  
Reading: Identifying and Questioning the Author’s Values  
 
LESSON 15
Writing: Reordering Information With Intention  
Reading: Noticing the Effect of Information’s Placement  
 
LESSON 16
Writing: Exploring How Writers Weight Information to Signal Import  
Reading: Looking at Texts to See How Volume Can Signify Importance  
 
LESSON 17
Writing: The Power of Story  
Reading: Switching Strategies When Authors Use Story in Expository Text  
 
LESSON 18
Writing: Connections and Disconnections Across Paragraphs and Pages  
Reading: Tracing Connections and Disconnections in Transitions  
 
LESSON 19
Writing: Vocabulary’s Starring Role in Informational Texts  
Reading: Expecting and Responding to the Subject’s Vocabulary  
 
LESSON 20
Writing: The Slipperiness of Facts  
Reading: Reading With Eyes Wide Open for Bias  
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Adding Dimensions to Writing Through Multimodal Features  
Reading: Multimodal Readers Prioritize Synthesis  
 
PART 4. LESSONS TO PREPARE FOR PUBLICATION AND THE SCHOLARLY STUDY OF TEXTS
What You Will Find in This Section  
When to Use These Lessons  
Preparing to Use These Lessons  
 
LESSON 21
Writing: First and Last Words: Intros and Conclusions That Attract and Linger  
Reading: Studying an Author’s First and Last Words  
 
LESSON 22
Writing: Choosing When to Quote, Describe, or Summarize  
Reading: Identifying Sources and Considering Their Reliability  
 
LESSON 23
Writing: Creating Text Features to Enhance and Add Information  
Reading: Integrating Text Features Within and Across Texts  
 
LESSON 24
Writing: Creating Strong Titles and Subtitles  
Reading: Titles and Subtitles That Convey Meaning  
 
LESSON 25
Writing: The Many Purposes of Paragraphs  
Reading: Seeing Paragraphs as an Author’s Organizational Tool  
 
LESSON 26
Writing: Punctuating With Intention  
Reading: Looking Across Texts With an Eye to Punctuation  
 
LESSON 27
Writing: Using Meaning to Make Smart Spelling Decisions  
Reading: The Role of Etymology for Readers  
 
LESSON 28
Writing: Making Publishing Decisions Based on the Intended Audience  
Reading: Judging the Effectiveness of an Author’s Decisions  
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Opening and Maintaining a Conversation With Audiences  
Reading: Responding Digitally to the Texts to Deepen Understanding  
 
Publisher’s Acknowledgments
 
Resources
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

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.

Lucy Calkins
Founding Director of the Teachers College Writing and Reading Project

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!

Jennifer Serravallo
Author of "Teaching Reading in Small Groups" and "Conferring with Readers"

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.

Carl Anderson
Author of "How's It Going?" and "The Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences"

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.

Sara K. Ahmed
NIST International School, Bangkok, Thailand

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506311234
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