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Teaching Evidence-Based Writing: Fiction

Teaching Evidence-Based Writing: Fiction
Texts and Lessons for Spot-On Writing About Reading

Additional resources:

September 2016 | 208 pages | Corwin
One in a million. Yes, that’s how rare it is to have so many write-about-reading strategies so beautifully put to use. Each year Leslie Blauman guides her students to become highly skilled at supporting their thinking about texts, and in Evidence-Based Writing: Fiction, she shares her win-win process. 

Leslie combed the ELA standards and all her favorite books and built a lesson structure you can use in two ways: with an entire text or with just the excerpts she’s included in the book. Addressing Evidence, Character, Theme, Point of View, Visuals, Words and Structure, each section includes:

Lessons you can use as teacher demonstrations or for guided practice, with Best the Test tips on how to authentically teach the skills that show up on exams with the texts you teach. 

Prompt Pages serve as handy references, giving students the key questions to ask themselves as they read any text and consider how an author’s meaning and structure combine.

Excerpts-to-Write About Pages feature carefully selected passages from novels, short stories, and picture books you already know and love and questions that require students to discover a text’s literal and deeper meanings. 

Write-About-Reading Templates scaffold students to think about a text efficiently by focusing on its critical literary elements or text structure demands and help them rehearse for more extensive responses.

Writing Tasks invite students to transform their notes into a more developed paragraph or essay with sufficiently challenging tasks geared for grades 6-8.

And best of all, your students gain a confidence in responding to complex texts and ideas that will serve them well in school, on tests, and in any situation when they are asked: What are you basing that on? Show me how you know. 

Section 1. Evidence
Lesson 1. Ask and Answer Questions
Write-About-Reading Template: Ask Questions

Excerpt to Write About: “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros

Lesson 2. Ask and Answer Questions Using Details
Write-About-Reading Template: Ask and Answer Questions

Excerpts to Write About: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Lesson 3. Use Details and Examples*
Write-About-Reading Template: Back Up Your Thinking

Excerpt to Write About: “Saturday at the Canal” by Gary Soto

Lesson 4. Quote From the Text*
Write-About-Reading Template: Question, Quote, Write!

Excerpt to Write About: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Lesson 5. Summarize in Literature
Write-About-Reading Template: Summary Planner

Excerpt to Write About: “The Mythical Story of Arachne” by Emma M. Firth

Lesson 6. Cite Evidence That Provides an Analysis*
Write-About-Reading Template: Cite Evidence Choice Board

Excerpts to Write About: “The Circuit” From The Circuit: Stories From the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimenez

Section 2. Relationships
Lesson 7. Describe Characters, Setting, and Sequence
Write-About-Reading Template: Look @ Literary Elements

Excerpt to Write About: “The Shepherd’s Mistake” posted by Brishti Bandyopadhyay in Folktales for Kids

Lesson 8. Follow Characters, Setting, and Sequence Over Time*
Write-About-Reading Template: Literary Elements Wheel

Excerpts to Write About: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Lesson 9. Notice Plot via Character Conflict/Change
Write-About-Reading Template: Think About Character

Excerpts to Write About: “The Julian Chapter” From Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by R. J. Palacio

Lesson 10. Notice How Character Drives Plot*
Write-About-Reading Templates: Story Map; Write About Character and Plot

Lesson 11. Develop Theories About Characters
Write-About-Reading Templates: Create a Theory About Character; Compare/Contrast Characters

Lesson 12. Analyze Character*
Write-About-Reading Template: Character Essay: Task/Assessment Options

Excerpts to Write About: Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips

Section 3. Themes
Lesson 13. Determine Theme in Story
Write-About-Reading Template: What’s the Theme?

Excerpt to Write About: “The Mighty” posted by Brishti Bandyopadhyay in Folktales for Kids

Lesson 14. Analyze Development of Theme in Story*
Write-About-Reading Template: Pick a Question

Excerpts to Write About: The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Lesson 15. Determine Theme in Poetry
Write-About-Reading Template: Find the Evidence

Excerpt to Write About: “Mr. Nobody” by Anonymous

Lesson 16. Compare and Contrast Theme in Poetry*
Write-About-Reading Template: Elements of Poetry

Excerpts to Write About: “Dreams” and “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

Section 4. Point of View
Lesson 17. Whose Point of View Is It?
Write-About-Reading Templates: Point of View; Point of View: Advanced

Excerpts to Write About: I Am the Dog I Am the Cat by Donald Hall

Lesson 18. How Point of View Colors the Way a Story Is Told*
Write-About-Reading Template: Who Is Telling the Story?

Excerpts to Write About: “My First Step to the White House” by Chris Van Allsburg

Lesson 19. Compare and Contrast Narration in Different Texts
Write-About-Reading Template: Compare POV

Excerpts to Write About: “Medusa, Pegasus, and the Chimera” retold by Steven Zorn; Medusa Tells All: Beauty Missing, Hair Hissing by Rebecca Fjelland Davis

Lesson 20. Analyze Contrasting Points of View*
Write-About-Reading Template: Two Views

Excerpts to Write About: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Section 5. Visuals
Lesson 21. How Illustrations Add to Meaning/Mood
Write-About-Reading Template: Imagine the Story With Pictures

Excerpt to Write About: One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Lesson 22. How Illustrations Contribute to Meaning
Write-About-Reading Template: How Visual Elements Add to Meaning

Excerpts to Write About: The Promise by Nicola Davies

Lesson 23. Compare Text to Staged Performance*
Write-About-Reading Template: Compare/Contrast Text to Movie or Play

Lesson 24. Analyze Text to Drama*
Write-About-Reading Template: Analyze Text to Drama: Compare/Contrast Text to Movie or Play

Section 6. Words and Structure
Lesson 25. Determine the Meaning of Words and Phrases
Write-About-Reading Template: Look at Language: Words and Phrases

Excerpts to Write About: The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Lesson 26. Understand Figurative Language*
Write-About-Reading Template: Figurative Language Collection

Excerpts to Write About: Figurative Language: In November by Cynthia Rylant; Like Butter on Pancakes by Jonathan London; Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen

Lesson 27. Analyze Overall Structure
Write-About-Reading Template: Text Structure Analyzer

Excerpts to Write About: No Two Snowflakes by Sheree Fitch

Lesson 28. Compare, Contrast, and Analyze Structure Between Texts*
Write-About-Reading Template: Compare/Contrast Chart for Organization

Excerpts to Write About: Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen



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