Craft Lessons: Teaching Writing K-8

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Stenhouse Publishers, Jan 1, 1998 - Education - 139 pages
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Craft is the cauldron in which the writing gets forged.

Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi argue that too often we concentrate on the beginning and ending of the writing process—conceiving and correcting—while leaving students on their own to make a thousand critical decisions in their writing about crafting leads, voice, structure, supporting detail, setting, mood, and character.

What elements of craft can we teach student writers, and at what age are they ready to learn them? This book answers both questions. Craft Lessons is the practical text for the over-scheduled writing teacher who wants to give students fresh challenges for their writing but doesn't have time to pore over dozens of trade books to do so.

There are three main sections in the book: one geared for teachers of primary students, one for teachers of grades 3-4, and one for teachers of middle school writers. This developmental structure allows teachers to go directly to those craft lessons most applicable and adaptable to their own students. Each of the 78 lessons is presented on a single page in an easy-to-read format. And every lesson features three teaching guidelines:

  • Discussion—A brief look at the reasons for teaching the particular element of craft.
  • How to Teach It—Concrete language showing exactly how a teacher might bring this craft element to students in individual writing conferences or a small-group setting.
  • Resource Material—A listing of the book or text referred to in the craft lesson plus additional texts you can use and references to a passage, a poem, or a piece of student writing in the Appendixes.

Craft Lessons also explores the context—the crucial classroom conditions—for successfully bringing rich ideas to young writers. It will appeal to both experienced writing teachers seeking new horizons for their writers and teachers who are relatively new to teaching writing.

Be sure to take a look at Nonfiction Craft Lessons: Teaching Information Writing K-8 and the When Students Write videotapes.

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Setting the Table for Craft
Craft Lessons K2

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About the author (1998)

Ralph Fletcher is the author of many well-received books for children, including the novels FIG PUDDING, and FLYING SOLO, and the picture books TWILIGHT COMES TWICE, GRANDPA NEVER LIES and CIRCUS SURPRISE. He lives with his family in New Hampshire.

JoAnn Portalupi has helped teachers all over the U.S. find wiser ways of teaching writing. This is Ralph and JoAnn's third collaboration as a follow-up to Craft Lessons and Nonfiction Craft Lessons, which they coauthored for Stenhouse.

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