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Writing With Writers

Develop writing skills with tips and tricks from favorite authors.


1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Activity Type

  • Writing Activities

The Writing With Writers online learning activity, for grades 1–12, provides step-by-step instructions to improve students’ writing skills. For each genre — biography, descriptive, folktale, mystery, myth, news, poetry, speech, and book review writing — an expert on the subject offers advice. All components include the ability to publish student work online.

  • In Biography Writing (grades 4–12), Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, winners of the Coretta Scott King award, provide students with a warm-up exercise, genre-specific tips, and an example of a biographical sketch written by them. Students post biographical sketches of their own.
  • Students learn Descriptive Writing (grades 4–12) with help from Newberry Medal-winning author Virginia Hamilton. She shares sample writings, tips, strategies, and challenges to help students develop their own writing.
  • With the Folktales workshop (grades 1–8), authors Alma Flor Ada and Rafe Martin guide students through a step-by-step process of writing their own folktales. 
  • Students learn Mystery Writing (grades 4–8) with help from well-known children's book author Joan Lowery Nixon. She shares a sample mystery, as well as writing tips, strategies, guidelines, and challenges to help students develop their own mysteries.
  • In Myth Writing (grades 4–12), students explore multicultural myths, participate in a four-step myth-writing workshop with acclaimed author Jane Yolen, and publish their own myths online.
  • With examples and advice, the Scholastic News editorial team shares the basics of good News Writing(grades 4–12). 
  • The Speech Writing activity (grades 4–12) teaches the skills needed for writing and presenting speeches. Students can record their speeches on the Scholastic hotline and come back to listen to it online. 
  • Writing I SPY Riddles with Jean Marzollo (grades 1–8) leads students on a poetry writing journey using her riddle-writing style from the award-winning I SPY series. Ms. Marzollo turns a complex writing style into a simple format that young students can copy and extend.
  • In Poetry Writing with Karla Kuskin (grades 1–12), students get a four-step plan from an award-winning poet. Kuskin provides students with a sample poem, plus writing tips, strategies, and challenges to help them create their own poetry.
  • Students learn how to Write a Book Review (grades 4–12) with help from acclaimed author Rodman Philbrick. He offers a sample book review, writing tips, strategies, and challenges to help students develop their own reviews.

Learning Objectives

Scholastic's Online Activities are designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills. While participating in “Writing With Writers,” students become proficient with several of these skills:

  • Identify unique characteristics of different writing genres
  • Follow the writing process for different genres to create original writing
  • Use web technology to post original writing online
  • Demonstrate understanding of different genres by responding to questions
  • Understand how to review and revise their own writing
  • Review and present constructive criticism to peer writing
  • Learn to think critically and objectively about their reading
  • Learn to review and revise their own writing
  • Produce written work to show evidence of knowledge of the different genres

Some specific skills related to specific genres include:

  • Use technology to record original speeches
  • Appreciate diverse cultures and traditions through writing
  • Tell an original folktale to class members using appropriate fluency skills
  • Respond to questions about the folktale genre to demonstrate understanding
  • Practice poetry writing skills such as rhythm, rhyming, and descriptive vocabulary
  • Practice writing skills such as description, summarization, and persuasive communication
  • Practice skills such as descriptive writing and dialogue

Susan Cheyney

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