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Nonfiction Craft Lessons

Teaching Information Writing K-8

Nonfiction Craft Lessons
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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.

  • Stenhouse Publishers; January 2001
    161 pages; ISBN 9781571107077
    Read online, or download in secure PDF format