From Unit Plan: Writing With Writers Teaching Guide

Books About Writing Skills and Genre Introduction

12 Genre Mini-Books: Fun Reproducible Mini-Books That Invite Kids To Read & Explore 12 Forms Of Writing Including Biography, Non-Fiction, Tall Tales, Fantasy, Mystery, Poetry, Plays & More
by Betsy Franco (Grades 2–4)

Teach 12 exciting genres with these kid-pleasing, illustrated mini-books!

Descriptive Writing: Mini-Lessons, Strategies, Activities
by Tara McCarthy (Grades 4–8)

Inspire students to develop descriptive writing skills with this complete resource. Through engaging activities, models, and reproducibles, students will learn to use metaphor and imagery, describe feelings and actions, and expand vocabulary to sharpen descriptions. Includes independent learning ideas, reinforcement activities, and self-assessment pages.

Writing Series
Scholastic (Grades 4–8)

The four books in this series include everything you need to teach writing. Each of these complete resources includes activities, reproducibles, independent learning ideas, and self-assessment pages. In the expository and descriptive writing units, students learn to present and support their ideas in an orderly way with essential facts, and how to direct writing to a specific audience. The persuasive writing unit teaches students how to identify persuasive words, analyze ads and commercials, and write persuasive editorials, business letters, speeches, and job applications. Inspire your students with the activities in the narrative writing book. Includes literary models, pre-writing activities, editing and revising tips, plus rubrics and evaluation ideas.

Scholastic Guides: Putting It in Writing
by Steve Otfinoski (Grades 3–6)

This refreshing and accessible guide uses student writing samples to show how to compose different types of letters and reports.

Quick Practice: Writing Skills Series
by Martin Lee, Marcia K. Miller (available for grades K–1, 2–3, 4–5, and 6–8)

These fun daily practice exercises effectively boost students' writing skills and get them ready for the standardized exams.

Biography

Teaching Genre: Biography: A Complete Unit That Helps Students Explore This Exciting Genre and Become Better Readers and Writers
Terry Cooper (Grades 4–8)

Encourage your students' love of reading and help them to gain a better understanding of a different genre. Each complete unit comes with six copies of the student anthology, filled with several high-interest stories that increase in degree of difficulty, as well as a 48-page teaching guide — all contained in a reusable storage bag. The teaching guide includes background information, genre teaching tips, recommended additional reading, and engaging reproducibles.

Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

Teaching Tall Tales: Reproducible Stories, Writing Mini-Lessons, Geography and Map Activities, Plus Other Spin-Offs Across the Curriculum
by Tracey West (Grades 3–5)

Pecos Bill, Slue Foot Sue, and John Henry are just some of the tall tale characters that help you teach history, geography, and literature. Filled with reproducibles, mini-lesson plans, and other spin-off activities across the curriculum.

Teaching Genre: Tall Tales: A Complete Unit That Helps Students Explore This Exciting Genre and Become Better Readers and Writers
Terry Cooper (Grades 4–8)

Encourage your students' love of reading and help them to gain a better understanding of a different genre. Each complete unit comes with six copies of the student anthology, filled with several high-interest stories that increase in degree of difficulty, as well as a 48-page teaching guide — all contained in a reusable storage bag. The teaching guide includes background information, genre teaching tips, recommended additional reading, and engaging reproducibles.

15 Greek Myth Mini-Books: Adorable Reproducible Patterns With Engaging Writing Prompts
by Sherry Girard (Grades 4–8)

Invite kids to create meaningful responses to literature with these engaging, hands-on art and writing projects. First, children enjoy a well-loved story together, then create their own response page that includes a colorful art activity.

Teaching Genre: Myths and Legends: A Complete Unit That Helps Students Explore This Exciting Genre and Become Better Readers and Writers
Terry Cooper (Grades 4–8)

Encourage your students' love of reading and help them to gain a better understanding of a different genre. Each complete unit comes with six copies of the student anthology, filled with several high-interest stories that increase in degree of difficulty, as well as a 48-page teaching guide — all contained in a reusable storage bag. The teaching guide includes background information, genre teaching tips, recommended additional reading, and engaging reproducibles.

Fairy Tales Collection (Grades K–3)

  • The Bremen-town Musicians by written by Ruth Belov Gross, illustrated by Jack Kent
  • Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman
  • Emperor Penguin's New Clothes by Janet Perlman
  • The Gingerbread Man written by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Barbara McClintock
  • The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
  • Red Riding Hood by James Marshall
  • Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky
  • Sleepless Beauty written by Frances Minters, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
  • The Three Billy-Goats Gruff by Ellen Appleby
  • The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall
  • The Friendship Tree

News

Getting the Most Out of Teaching With Newspapers
by Rebecca Olien (Grades 3–5)

A must-have resource to get kids reading — and learning from — the newspaper! Lessons and activities help you introduce the parts of the paper, create a class newspaper, and use the paper to teach reading, writing, math, and more.

Poetry

Kids' Poems: Teaching Kindergartners to Love Writing Poetry
by Regie Routman (Grade K, versions also available for grades 1, 2, and 3–4)

Regie Routman shares here delightful selection of free-verse poems written by kindergartners that will inspire your kindergartners to think "I can write poems like this too!" Routman provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about: eating popcorn, playing in June, wishing for a pet dog, and more. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, "What do you notice?" She shows how she demonstrates the poetry-writing process to children: thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then collaborating on a poem together before children write on their own.

Teaching 10 Fabulous Forms of Poetry: Great Lessons, Brainstorming Sheets, and Organizers for Writing Haiku, Limericks, Cinquains, and Other Kinds of Poetry Kids Love
by Paul B. Janeczko (Grades 4–8)

Poet Paul Janeczko shares step-by-step lessons with companion reproducibles that make teaching poetry fun and easy. Includes reproducible model poems and ideas for introducing each poetic form.

Web Sites

Biography

Biographical Profiles of Important 19th Century African Americans
The 19th-century African Americans profiled here include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Nat Turner, as well as some lesser-known figures such as Mary Ann Shadd.

Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

Myths From Around the World
Discover myths from around the world including India, Southeast Asia, South America and more. This is part of the Myths, Folktales and Fairy Tales online activity.

Myth Brainstorming Machine
Use this flash component to start your myth writing visually. You can pick a character, a background, and effect, and print it out to get your myth started right away.

American Folklore: State Folktales
Read a folktale from your state or read historical and ethnic folklore.

Native American Folklore
Read dozens of stories from Native American cultures.

Mystery

Mystery Net: Kid's Mysteries
Students read through mysteries and try to solve them before getting all the clues.

News

Scholastic News Online
Use the extensive content in Scholastic News online as a resource for writing your own news article. New daily stories are posted through the week and the special reports allow for in-depth coverage of events happening around the world.

Science News For Kids
Articles from the physics of candy packing to the behavior of rats, this site has extensive news articles written for students.

The New York Times Learning Network
For the older grades, read about the current news covering all topics. Activities include writing letters to the editor and a monthly interactive crossword puzzle.

Poetry

Poetry Archive
The goal of this ever-expanding poetry archive is to make poetry available at no cost and to give teachers and students of poetry new ways to study poets and their work.

Jean Marzollo Web Page
This site features many of Marzollo's books including her award-winning series I Spy. There is information on how to purchase her books, a bio of her life, and fun activities to do with students.

Speech

Gifts of Speech: Women's Speeches From Around the World
Read the speeches of famous women arranged by year.

Book Review

Share What You Are Reading
Read peer book reviews on any genre and write your own book review to be published online.

The New York Times Book Review
Read the book reviews on the latest books. Good for older students to get an example of what they should be writing.