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Helping Struggling Writers

How can we help students who are stuck when it comes time to write? Franki Sibberson shares a couple new strategies, including a book basket of texts selected by students themselves as useful for sparking writing topics in this photo essay.

Helping Students Find Their Own Mentor Texts

Franki Sibberson helps her students learn how to evaluation and discover their own mentor texts in her grades 3 and 4 literacy workshops.

The Books We Can’t Live Without in Our Teaching: Resource Round-Up

Literacy experts share their well-loved and well-worn children's and professional books.

Inferring Read Aloud Part I

Katie Doherty demonstrates how she uses picture books to teach inferring strategies to her sixth graders in this video series. Part I is a presentation of the book to students.

Old Elm Speaks: Connecting Poetry, Observation, and Reading

In this first installment of a three-part video series, Aimee Buckner shows how observation skills, poetry, and reading instruction come together with the mentor text Old Elm Speaks by Kristin O’Connell George.

Picture Reading in First Grade

In this read-aloud lesson from Katie DiCesare's first-grade classroom, Katie demonstrates the importance of picture reading using the wordless picture book The Zoo by Suzy Lee.

From Questions to Drafts

Aimee Buckner shares the mentor text Could You? Would You? with her 4th grade students. Aimee explains how questions are a springboard to interesting writing topics, and models connections she makes to the text.

Writing Comics: Introducing the Activity

In this lesson from a fourth-grade classroom, Sarah Thibault introduces students to a writing activity. Students will be creating their own comic books, after extensive preparation and experience with mentor texts.

Talking About Tests

Franki Sibberson prepares her grades 3-4 students for state examinations by helping them observe attributes and patterns in test questions.

Crafting Characters in Writer’s Workshop

If you are looking for a “peppery” heroine, Mary from The Secret Garden is one for the ages. In this video of a lesson in writer’s workshop, Franki Sibberson shows how shared text can be used to help young writers understand character traits and development.

Narrative Nonfiction in Fifth Grade, Part 1

In this lesson from a fifth-grade classroom, Aimee Buckner guides students in a notetaking process to help them understand the qualities of nonfiction narrative writing.

Inside and Outside Views Minilesson

Ruth Ayres leads a minilesson in second grade on inside/outside views — what’s happening objectively (on the outside) vs. emotions (on the inside).  The terms are a good starting point for helping young students distinguish between facts and opinions.

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