A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Donald Graves

Donald H. Graves was involved in writing research for decades. His books Writing: Teachers & Children at Work (Heinemann, 1983) and A Fresh Look at Writing (Heinemann, 1994) are bestsellers throughout the English-speaking world and have revolutionized the way writing is taught in schools.

Don was a teacher, school principal, and language supervisor, education director, and a director of language in bilingual, ESL, and special programs. He has also been a codirector of an undergraduate urban teacher preparation program and a professor of an early childhood program. He was Professor Emeritus at the University of New Hampshire.


Donald Graves Donald H. Graves 9.11.1930 - 9.28.2010

Heinemann is deeply saddened by the news that Donald Graves has passed away. We, and the entire field, have lost a giant and one of our greatest friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with his widow, Betty, their family, and the many friends he made in his long career.

We are honored to have been Don's publishing partner for more than three decades and over more than a dozen books-to have watched his research and vision become not only a classroom reality but the core of our publishing philosophy. His influence is so vast that we will meet him again and again on the pages of every book and resource we publish. His spirit pervades each of our books-in the conviction that children want to write and read if given the chance; in the flourishing of the workshop model of instruction that he pioneered; and in his abiding faith in teachers' ability to make sound instructional decisions.

Don touched so many teachers' lives with his smile, his unflagging encouragement, and his generosity of spirit. We hope you will take a brief moment to remember how he touched your life.

Watch a recent interview with Don »
Remembering how Don touched your life »
The Donald Graves memorial fund »


Eight Children Teach Donald Graves

Nine pencils break the surface of awareness, jutting into the air, slanted back like yellow, orange-tipped shark fins, entering chartless white, exploring hazy depths.

Nine voices search a scent,
suddenly lurch,
lose the line,
pause,
pick it up again,
and move from
cloudy, roiling waters
of new thought
through warm currents of reception,
straits of questioning,
and tidal imbalances
on to a clear,
precise sea of meaning.

—Tom Romano (Language Arts, 62,2 (Feb.) 1985: 142