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Writers Read Better: Narrative
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Writers Read Better: Narrative
50+ Paired Lessons That Turn Writing Craft Work Into Powerful Genre Reading

First Edition


June 2019 | 312 pages | Corwin

When It Comes to Reading, Writers Have an Advantage

We know that writing skills reinforce reading skills, but what’s the best way to capitalize on this beneficial relationship? By flipping the traditional “reading lesson first, writing lesson second” sequence, Colleen Cruz ingeniously helps you make the most of the writing-to-reading connection with carefully matched, conceptually connected lesson pairs. The result is a healthy reciprocity that effectively and efficiently develops students’ literacy skills.

Backed by long-term academic and field research, Writers Read Better: Narrative presents a series of 50 tightly interconnected lesson pairs that can be implemented either as a complete curriculum or as a supplement to an existing program. Each pairing leads with a writing lesson, used as a springboard for the reading lesson that will follow.

Throughout the book’s four sections, organized to help you teach tightly aligned lessons and units on reading and writing narrative, you’ll discover

  • Kid-friendly approaches to virtually every matter of craft, including symbolism, tenses, the role of first and last words, dialogue as character fingerprint, giving weight to what's important, and much more 
  • Clear guidance on the intention of each lesson, the type of narrative genre it’s ideally suited for, and step-by-step plans 
  • Sample teacher language for introducing and coaching each lesson
  • Mentor text excerpts to use as models for personal narrative, memoir, and story writing
  • Tips on building and organizing a contemporary classroom library filled with inspiring, illustrative texts, and how you can incorporate the tools, technology and media available in your classroom to make each lesson most effective
  • Sample student work, online videos and other supporting resources 

Complete with practical suggestions on adapting the lessons to suit the particular needs of your classroom as well as individual students, Writers Reader Better: Narrative offers a solid foundation for giving your students the advantage of powerful, transferable literacy skills.


 
List of Videos
 
Solutions at a Glance
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction: Preparing for Aligned or Complementary Units on Narrative Reading and Writing
 
PART 1: LESSONS FOR GENERATING STORY: ENVISIONING CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS
 
LESSON 1
Writing: Write Our Truest Selves

 
Reading: Characters Offer Clues to Authors’ Selves

 
 
LESSON 2
Writing: Flaws and Quirks for Character Development

 
Reading: Studying Flaws to Seek Deeper Meaning

 
 
LESSON 3
Writing: Finding Freedom in Familiar Character Types

 
Reading: Identifying Archetypes to Develop Depth of Understanding

 
 
LESSON 4
Writing: Maps, Photographs, and Songs as Tools for Setting Creation

 
Reading: Connecting Setting to Meaning

 
 
LESSON 5
Writing: Letting Characters and Settings Lead Us to Story

 
Reading: Following the Path of a Story to Understand Other Elements

 
 
LESSON 6
Writing: Finding Important Ideas in the Most Personal Piece of Our Lives

 
Reading: Focusing on the Details of a Text to Uncover Bigger Notions

 
 
LESSON 7
Writing: Studying Places for Stories to Explore

 
Reading: Making the Connection Between Place and an Author’s Message

 
 
LESSON 8
Writing: Revising the Arc to Match the Meaning

 
Reading: Connecting the Shape of the Plot to the Theme

 
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Apps and Tools to Help Keep Track of Story Ideas

 
Reading: Reading Stories Digitally Requires Readers to Purposefully Set Themselves up to Reread

 
 
PART 2: LESSONS FOR DRAFTING A NARRATIVE, FOLLOWING PLOT, AND FINDING SIGNIFICANCE
 
LESSON 9
Writing: Draft Fast to Create Energy

 
Reading: Reading Voluminously to Build Momentum

 
 
LESSON 10
Writing: Drafting Stand-Alone Scenes

 
Reading: Studying One Scene for Larger Understanding

 
 
LESSON 11
Writing: Deciding When to Summarize

 
Reading: Summarizing Text to Check for Comprehension

 
 
LESSON 12
Writing: Research for Personal Writing

 
Reading: Noting When a Writer Uses Research or Artifacts

 
 
LESSON 13
Writing: Drafting With Truth in Mind, Leaving Space for Facts

 
Reading: Deciphering an Author’s Truth and Perspective

 
 
LESSON 14
Writing: Drafting With Perspective in Mind

 
Reading: Considering the Author’s Choice of Perspective and Its Effects

 
 
LESSON 15
Writing: Research Makes Fiction Believable

 
Reading: Researching Outside a Text Can Open New Interpretations

 
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Choosing the Best Platform for Your Story

 
Reading: The Platform Affects the Way You Interact With a Story

 
 
PART 3: LESSONS FOR REVISING FOR MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE: ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUE
 
LESSON 16
Writing: Exploring Deeper Meaning in Drafts to Begin Revision

 
Reading: Identifying an Author’s Deeper Meaning Through Rereading and Writing

 
 
LESSON 17
Writing: Compelling Stories Thrive on Conflict

 
Reading: Identifying the Scenes That Point to Conflict in a Story

 
 
LESSON 18
Writing: Craft Settings That Connect With Characters’ Emotions

 
Reading: Noticing a Relationship Between Setting and Character

 
 
LESSON 19
Writing: Stories Extend and Elaborate on Larger Ideas

 
Reading: Tracking the Weight of a Story

 
 
LESSON 20
Writing: Increasing Suspense Through Revision

 
Reading: Spotting Moves Authors Use to Build Suspense Helps Readers Make Predictions

 
 
LESSON 21
Writing: Craft Dialogue to Match Character Personality and Uniqueness

 
Reading: Dialogue Gives Insights Into Characters

 
 
LESSON 22
Writing: The Narrator’s Voice Makes Perspective Clear

 
Reading: The Narrator’s Voice Sets up a Reader’s Inferences and Interpretations

 
 
LESSON 23
Writing: Knowing the Significance of a Personal Story Can Help Writers to Foreshadow

 
Reading: Identifying Foreshadowing in a Story to Help Discover Theme

 
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Revising Digitally Allows for Powerful Peer Feedback

 
Reading: Other Readers Can Give New Perspectives

 
 
PART 4: LESSONS FOR PERFECTING THE PROSE AND PURPOSE: DEEP INTERPRETATION
 
LESSON 24
Writing: Designing Beginnings and Endings That Entice and Linger

 
Reading: Savoring Beginnings and Endings

 
 
LESSON 25
Writing: Fewer Words Can Make More Impact

 
Reading: Considering Words Used and Not Used When Interpreting

 
 
LESSON 26
Writing: Using Symbolism to Give Readers Direction

 
Reading: Interpreting Symbols in Stories—When Everything Can Have Meaning

 
 
LESSON 27
Writing: Choosing and Smoothing Tense

 
Reading: Looking to Tense for Meaning

 
 
LESSON 28
Writing: The Many Purposes of Narrative Paragraphs

 
Reading: Reading Narrative Paragraphs on Surface and Inferential Levels

 
 
LESSON 29
Writing: Using Tools to Make Smart Spelling Decisions

 
Reading: Knowing an Author Carefully Chooses Words Helps Readers Develop Deeper Understanding

 
 
LESSON 30
Writing: Making Publishing Decisions Based on the Intended Audience

 
Reading: Judging the Effectiveness of an Author’s Decisions

 
 
FOR DIGITAL CLASSROOMS
Writing: Using Digital Tools to Call Attention to Theme

 
Reading: Looking Across Highlights, Bookmarks, and Notes to Help Identify Unifying Themes

 
 
Resources
 
References and Further Reading
 
Index

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Introduction

Lesson 1


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