Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Launching Writers' Workshop with GROWING FOURTH GRADE WRITERS

Launching Writer’s
Workshop With
Growing Fourth
Grade Writers

 Writers don’t improve their craft unless they have a real purpose, a real audience, and a real investment in their writing.                                                                                                                                  
Mem Fox
It is significant to realize that the most creative environments in our society are not the ever-changing ones. The artist’s studio, the researcher’s laboratory, the scholar’s library are each deliberately kept simple so as to support the complexities of  the work-in-progress.  They are deliberately kept predictable so the unpredictable can happen.                             
Lucy Calkins, Lessons from a Child, 1983, pg. 32

Fourth graders are often earnest and eager writers.  Many begin to see why and how their writing can influence the thinking – or delight – of others.  They frequently exhibit deep passion for justice and fairness making studies of persuasive writing (a bit later in the year), nonfiction, and content area feature articles especially compelling and meaningful. 

During this opening unit of study, we work to set up rituals and routines so that students can engage in the writing process successfully and confidently. While some students may have gained some experience with writer’s notebooks and topic generation, fourth grade represents a time of tremendous growth in not only the volume students can produce but also the variety of genres, styles, and crafting they can take on.  Paramount to all our thoughtful efforts is establishing trust, rapport, and supportive connections so that our new groups of students become communities of writers for and with one another and us.

In the weeks before you begin this first unit of study, draw from your own writing well.  Think about what you do as a writer.  Why do you write?  When do you write?  Begin to record your insights.  What you write down will give you brilliant ways to model, name, and explain writing for and with your students.  Your opening lessons with your fourth graders will be edifying to all your students because they authentically come from your writing.

Launching Writer’s Workshop Studies

Mentor texts to support students’ learning about Living a Writerly Life - “What Writers Do” and “What Writers Write”

Abeel, Samantha.  Reach for the Moon.  (poetry collection by child author)

Adler, David. My Writing Day.  (picture book; memoir)

Aliki.  How a Book is Made.  (picture book)

Aliki.  Painted Words, Spoken Words:  Marianthe’s Story.  (picture book)

Asher, Sandy.  Where Do You Get Ideas? 

Brennan-Nelson, Denise.  Someday Is Not A Day of the Week.  (picture book)

Bunting, Eve.  Once Upon a Time.  (picture book; memoir)

Cassedy, Sylvia.  In Your Own Words:  A Beginner’s Guide to Writing. 

Christelow, Eileen.  What Do Authors Do?  (picture book)

Cleary, Beverly Dear Mr. Henshaw

Clements, Andrew.  Frindle.  (novel)

Cole, J. & Saul.  On the Bus with Joanna Cole:  A Creative Autobiography.

Creech, Sharon.  Love That Dog.  (poetic novel)

Cummings, Pat.  Talking with Artists [Volume One and Volume Two]. (biographical)

Fletcher, Ralph.  How Writers Work.  (nonfiction; biographical)

Fletcher, Ralph.   Live Writing:  Breathing Life Into Your Words. (nonfiction)

Fletcher, Ralph.  A Writing Kind of Day:  Poems for Young Poets. (poetry)

Florian, Douglas.  Autumnblings.   (picture book)

Friedman, Robin.  How I Survived My Summer Vacation…And Lived to Write the Story.

George, Kristin O’Connell.  Little Dog Poems.  (poetic picture book)

George, Kristin O’Connell.  Swimming Upstream:  Middle School Poems.  (poetry)

Gilbar, Steven.  The Open Door:  When Writers First Learned to Read.  (biographical)

Guthrie and Bentley.  The Young Author’s Do-It-Yourself Book.  (nonfiction)

Hopkins, Lee Bennett.  Books are by People.

Howe, James.  Playing with Words.  (picture book; memoir)

Janeczko, Paul B.  Poetry From A to Z:  A Guide for Young Writers. (poetry)

Janeczko, Paul B.  A Scholastic Guide:  How To Write Poetry.

Kennedy, Caroline.  A Family of Poems:  My Favorite Poetry for Children.  (poetry)

Kloske, Geoffrey.  Once upon a time, then End (asleep in 60 second).  (stories)

Krull, Kathleen.  Lives of the Writers. (biographical)

Krupinski, Loretta.  Bluewater Journal:  The Voyage of the SEA TIGER.

Leedy, Loreen.  Look at My Book:  How Kids Can Write & Illustrate Terrific Books.  (picture book)

Lloyd, Pamela.  How Writers Work.  (nonfiction)

London, Jonathan.  Like Butter on Pancakes.  (picture book)

Lowry, Lois.  Looking Back:  A Book of Memories. (memoir/autobiographical)

Lyon, George Ella.  Book.  (picture book)

Marcus, Leonard.  Author Talk:  Conversations with Judy Blume, Bruce Brooks, Karen Cushman, Russell Freedman…. (biographical)

McPhail, David.  In Flight with David McPhail.  (picture book; memoir)

Navasky, Bruno.  Festival in My Heart:  Poems by Japanese Children.  (poetry authored by children)

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  How I Came to Be a Writer.  (autobiographical picture book)

Nixon, Joan Lowery.   The Making of a Writer. (memoir) 

Numeroff, Laura & Harpham, W.  The Hope Tree:  Kids Talk About Breast Cancer.  (picture book)

Perdomo, W. Visiting Langston.   (picture book)

Polacco, Patricia.  Firetalking.  (picture book; memoir)

Pulver, Robin.  Punctuation Takes a Vacation.   (picture book)

Ringgold, Faith. Talking to Faith Ringgold.  (biographical; interview)

Routman, Regie.  Kids’ Poems: Teaching Student to Love Writing Poetry.  (poetry authored by children)

Rylant, Cynthia.  Best Wishes:  Meet the Author Series.  (picture book; memoir)

Shwartz, Ronald.  For The Love of Books:  115 Celebrated Writers on the Books They Love Most.  (biographical)

Spain, Sahara Sunday.  if there would be no light.  (poetry authored by child)

Spinelli, Jerry.  Knots in My Yo-yo String.  (picture book)

Stepanek, Mattie.  Heartsongs.  (poetry authored by child)

Stepanek, Mattie.  Journey to Heartsongs. (poetry authored by child)

Stevens, Janet.  From Pictures to Words:  A Book About Making A Book. (picture book)

Thomson, Sarah.  Imagine a Day.  (picture book)

Wong, Janet.  You Have To Write.  (picture book)

Yolen, Jane.  A Letter From Phoenix Farm.  (picture book)

Zemach, Kaethe.   The Character In The Book.  (picture book)

…and Magazines and Periodicals

o   American Girls                         

o   Boy’s Life                    

o   Cricket         

o   Disney Adventures        

o   ESPN Magazine  

o   Highlights                    

o   Muse               

o   Ranger Rick     

o   Scholastic News                 

o   Sports Illustrated for Kids                                 

o   Teen People        

o   Time for Kids               

o   Zillions

Mentor texts to support students’ memory writing:

·        Mentor texts to support students’ family memories writing (Writers write about what they know; Writers write about what they care about) (all picture books):

·        Grandad’s Bill’s Song by Jane Yolen

·        Jewels by Belinda Rochelle

·        Wednesday’s Surprise by Eve Bunting

Mentor texts to support students’ school memories writing (Writers write about what they know):

·        Angela Anaconda:  The Trouble with Teachers by

·        Donavan’s Word Jar by Mona Lisa DeGross

·        Dueling Diaries by

·        Fourth Grade Weirdo by Martha Freeman

·        The Girl Who Hated Books by Manjusha Pawagi

·        Tomas and the Library Lady by William Miller  (picture book)

Additional mentor texts which you may have on right now/may be in the library:

A Cache of Jewels and other Collective Nouns                Heller, Ruth    (nonfiction picture book)

Amelia’s Notebook                                                        Moss, Marissa   (picture book)

Because of Winn-Dixie                                                   DiCamillo, Kate   (novel/chapter book)                

Behind The Mask: A Book About Prepositions                 Heller, Ruth       (nonfiction picture book)

Bigmama’s                                                                    Crews, Donald  (picture book)

CDB!                                                                            Steig, William     (picture book)

Charlotte’s Web                                                            White, E.B.  (novel/chapter book)

Daydreamers                                                                Feelings, Tom

Fantastic! Wow!...Interjections and Conjunctions            Heller, Ruth   (nonfiction picture book)

How writers work: finding a process that work                Fletcher, Ralph  (nonfiction)

It Came From Beneath the Bed!                                     Howe, James

Live Writing                                                                  Fletcher, Ralph  (nonfiction)

The Paperboy                                                                Pilkey, Dav  (picture book)

Peter’s Chair                                                                Keats, Ezra Jack  (picture book)

Shortcut                                                                        Crews, Donald   (picture book)

The Witch of Blackbird Pond                                          Speare, Elizabeth   (novel/chapter book)

You Have to Write                                                                     Wong, Janet   (picture book)

Zoom                                                                                        Banyai, Istvan  (picture book)

Mentor texts to support students’ learning about writer’s notebooks (and kindred genres such as letter writing and journals):

Arnosky, Jim                                        Watching Desert Wildlife

Cronin, Doreen                                     Diary of a Worm  (picture book)

Danziger, Paula and Martin, Ann          P.S. Longer Letter Later

Ellis, Sarah                                           The Young Writer’s Companion:  Journal

Filopovic, Zlata                                     Zlata’s Diary:  A Child’s Life in Sarajevo                              *Selected vignettes for appropriate/sensitive content.

Freedom Writes & Gruwell, E.              The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them

Guthrie and Bentley                             The Young Journalist’s Book

Holder, John                                         Dame Shirley and the Gold Rush

Lewin, Ted                                           Tooth & Claw: Animal Adventure in the Wild

Moss, Marissa                                       Amelia’s Notebooks (numerous titles)  (picture book)

Park, Barbara                                        Junie B., First Grader (at last!)                                                     *A fun “old friend” exemplar to revisit for mentoring purposes.

Swallow, Pamela Curtis                        A Writer’s Notebook:  The Ultimate Guide to Creative Writing

Wardlaw, Lee                                       101 Ways To Bug Your Parents  (picture book)

Whybrow, Ian                                       Dear Little Wolf    (picture book)

Whybrow, Ian                                       Little Wolf’s Handy Book of Poems  (picture book)

Wilder, Laura Ingalls                            On The Way Home

Wiles, Deborah                                                 Love, Ruby Lavender

Potential Author Studies:

Andrew Clements

Kate DiCamillo

Ralph Fletcher

Karen Hesse

Will Hobbs (or maybe save him for your fiction unit)

Laura Numeroff

Patricia Polacco

Janet Wong

Supportive Internet Resources:

Carol Wilcox (A remarkable writer and passionate reader, Carol shares her recent “best reads” in this delightful blog.  Wonderful source for mentor text ideas.)

Choice Literacy

Columbia University Teachers College 

Debra Fraiser (editing focus)

Guys Read

International Reading Association

Journey North (writing strategies)

               Nonfiction/Factual writing focus:

Kids Read

Mark Overmeyer

Mary Ehrenworth,  Teachers College (especially helpful for parent education)

National Council of Teachers of English/NCTE

National Writing Project

              “30 Ideas for Teaching Writing” offered as attached unit resource.

Planet Esme

(mentor text podcast)

Read Write Think    

Reading Rockets

Ruth Ayers

Six Traits                

Six Traits and standards connections as well as anchor paper links and rubric banks:  [The referenced standards are the U.S. Common Core State Standards/CCSS but the parallels could be helpful in making connections to the Ontario ELA Standards.]

Stanford University – Expository Writing

Two Writing Teachers

Write Brained Teacher

Writing Fix

               Persuasive writing focus:

Professional Resources:

·        Anderson, Carl.  (2005). Assessing Writers.  Heinemann.

o   Chapter Two – Getting Started:  Developing an assessment lens; Chapter Three – Assessing Students as Initiators of Writing; Appendix 1; Appendix 4.

·        Anderson, Carl.  (2000).  How’s It Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers.  Heinemann.

o   If you are new to conferring, this will be an invaluable book to read and study over the summer.  Reading this book with Carl’s DVD collection in Strategic Writing Conferences offers you excellent modeling of edifying conferences.

o   If you have studied with Carl/feel confident about your conferring rituals, make sure to revisit Chapters One – Conferences are Conversations, Two – The Teacher’s Role in the Conference, and Five – Laying the Groundwork for Conferences.

o   If you have concerns or questions about classroom management, study Chapter 7 – What Are All the Other Students Doing?

·        Anderson, Carl.  (2009).  Strategic Writing Conferences: Smart Conversations That Move Young Writers Forward (text and DVD’s). Heinemann. 

·        Angelillo, Janet.  (2008).  Whole-Class Teaching:  Minilessons and More.  Heinemann.

·        Atwell, Nancie. (2007).  Lessons That Change Writers (Text and DVD’s). Heinemann.

·        Ayers, Ruth and Schbitz, Stacey. (2010).  Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice.  Stenhouse.

·        Buckner, Aimee. (2005). Notebook Know How.  Stenhouse.

·        Buckner, Aimee.  Writers, Choice, and Independence.  Choice Literacy.

o   Offered an attached unit resource. 

·        Calkins, Lucy.  (1994).  The Art of Teaching Writing.

o   Chapters 6 and 7.

·        Calkins, Lucy.  (2003).  The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing.

·        Calkins, Lucy and Martinelli, Marjorie.  Launching the Writing Workshop, Grades 3-5.  Heinemann.

·        Cruz, Colleen M.  (2004).  Independent Writing:  One Teacher – Thirty-Two Needs, Topics and Plans. Heinemann.

o   Chapter offered as attached unit resource. 

·        Cruz, Colleen M. (2008).  A Quick Guide to Reaching Struggling Writers.  Heinemann.

·        Culham, Ruth.  [multiple Six Traits of Writing titles]

·        Davis, Judy and Hill, Sharon. (2003). The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing: Strategies, Structures, and Solutions.  Heinemann.

·        Dorfman, Lynne. (2006).   Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature, K-6.  Stenhouse.

·        Fisher, Douglas and Frey, Nancy.  (2007).  Scaffolded Writing Instruction: Teaching With a Gradual-Release Framework.  Scholastic. 

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (2006).  Boy Writers:  Reclaiming Their Voices.  Stenhouse.

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (1996).  Breathing In, Breathing Out:  Keeping a Writer’s Notebook.  Heinemann.

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (2007).  How to Write Your Life. Collins.

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (2000).  How Writers Work:  Finding a Process That Works for You.  Harper Collins.

·        Fletcher, Ralph. (1999). Live Writing:  Breathing Life into Your Words. Harper Collins.

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (2011). Mentor Author, Mentor Texts: Short Texts, Craft Notes, and Practical Classroom Uses.

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (2010). Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing.  Stenhouse. 

·        Fletcher, Ralph.  (1992).  What a Writer Needs.  Heinemann.

·        Fletcher, Ralph. (1996). The Writer’s Notebook:  Unlocking the Writer Within You. Harper Collins.

·        Fletcher, Ralph and Portalupi, JoAnn.  (2007).  Craft Lessons.  Teaching Writing K – 8.  Stenhouse.

·        Fletcher, Ralph and Portalupi, JoAnn.  (2001).  Writing Workshop:  The Essential Guide.  Stenhouse.

·        Fountas, Irene and Pinnell, Gay Su.  (2001).  Guiding Readers and Writers (Grades 3-6): Teaching, Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy.  Heinemann.

·        Glover, Matt.  (2009).  Engaging Young Writers: Preschool-Grade One.  Heinemann.

·        Graves, Donald.  *All Don’s titles such as Investigate with Nonfiction, A Fresh Look at Writing, and Quick Writes offer infinite learning-teaching possibilities and they are all deeply good for the soul.

·        Harwayne, Shelley. (2000).  Lifetime Guarantees:  Toward Ambitious Literacy Teaching.  Heinemann.

o   Chapter One - Designing the Literacy Landscape; Chapter Two – Reflecting on the Teaching of Writing; Page 61/60-67 (daily schedule and supportive schoolwide structures); A-6 (author studies).

·        Harwayne, Shelley.  (2001).  Writing through Childhood.  Heinemann. 

o   Chapter Two – Designing Writing Workshops with Children in Mind; Chapter Six - Working with Our Youngest Writers.

·        Heard, Georgia.  (2002).  The Revision Toolbox.  Heinemann.

·        Hill, Bonnie Campbell and Ekey, Carrie. (2010). The Next Step Guide To Enhancing Writing Instruction:  Rubrics and Resources for Self-Evaluation and Goal Setting.  Heinemann.

o   Chapters 1 and 5 and Appendix A, B, C, D, and E. 

·        Hill, Bonnie Campbell and Ekey, Carrie.  (2010).  The Next Step Guide to Enriching Classroom Environments.  Heinemann.

o   Superb, practical resource as you develop your setting for literacy learning including edifying self-evaluation tools.

·        Hill, Bonnie Campbell.  Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Learning:  A Guide for Parents.  Heinemann.

o   Excellent text to share with parents. 

·        Laminack, Lester and Wadsworth, Reba.  (2006). Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature. Heinemann.

·        Lane, Barry.  (2008).  But How Do You Teach Writing? A Simple Guide for All Teachers. Scholastic. 

·        Overmeyer, Mark.  (2005). When Writing Workshop Isn't Working: Answers to Ten Tough Questions, Grades 2-5.  Stenhouse.

·        Overmeyer, Mark. (2009). What Student Writing Teaches Us: Formative Assessment in the Writing Workshop.  Stenhouse.

·        Ray, Katie Wood.  (2006). Study Driven A Framework of Planning Units of Study in the Writing Workshop. Heinemann, 2006.

o   Pages 38-46 (vision for writing, counting books, travel guide writing), 90 (the role of approximation), and 151 (important considerations for kindergarten teachers and writers).

·        Ray, Katie Wood.  (1999). Wondrous Words. National Council of Teachers of English.

·        Ray, Katie Wood with Laminack, Lester.  (2001). The Writing Workshop:  Working through the Hard Parts (and They’re All Hard Parts).  National Council of Teachers of English.

·        Routman, Regie.  (2000).  Conversations.

o   Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9. 

·        Routman, Regie (2004). Writing Essentials:  Raising Expectations and Results While Simplifying Teaching. Heinemann.

·        Spandel, Vicki.  (2003).  Creating Young Writers: Using the Six Traits to Enrich Writing Process in Primary Classrooms.  Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

·        Strassman, Barbara and O’Connell, Trisha.  (2007). Authoring with Video.  The Reading Teacher. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Laura. What great resources. I also would like to share one more with you: Thanks for all you do!

Laura Benson said...

Grady,you are so right! :) I think I included this wonderful site on some of the lists...but I am so thrilled to have you highlight this connection here :) You are a kindred spirit, friend! Thank you so very much :)