A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

The Art of Teaching Writing

Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University

ISBN 978-0-435-08809-5 / 0-435-08809-2 / 1994 / 540pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
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Grade Level: K - 5th
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An outstanding publication on the latest developments in writing instruction.
—Language Arts

When Lucy Calkins wrote the first edition of The Art of Teaching Writing, the writing workshop was a fledgling idea, piloted by a few brave innovators. Now, as she brings us this new edition, the writing workshop is at the foundation of language arts education throughout the English-speaking world. This new edition, then, could easily have been a restatement, in grander, more confident tones, of the original classic. Instead, it is an almost entirely new book.

Clearly, during the time in which Calkins's original ideas have spread like wildfire, her focus has not been on articulating and defending those ideas, but on developing and rethinking them. Respecting and responding to the questions which have arisen as thousands of teachers establish writing workshops in their classrooms, and drawing upon the latest knowledge in the field and her own intimate understanding of classroom life, Calkins has re-thought every line and every facet of her original text.

In this new edition, Lucy has major new chapters on assessment, thematic studies, writing throughout the day, reading/writing relationships, publication, curriculum development, nonfiction writing and home/school connections. More than this, she has deepened her understanding of the writing process itself:

"When I wrote the first edition, I saw writing as a process of choosing a topic, turning the topic into the best possible draft, sharing the draft with friends, then revising it. But I've come to think that it's very important that writing is a process not only of recording, but also of developing a story or an idea. Now, in this new edition, I describe writing episodes that do not begin with a topic and a draft but instead with something noticed or something wondered about. When writing begins with something that has not yet found its significance, it is more apt to become a process of growing meaning."


I. The Essentials of Writing
1. Making Meaning on the Page and in Our Lives
2. Tap the Energy for Writing
Rehearsal: Living the Writerly Life
Drafting and Revision: Letting Our Worlds Instruct and Surprise Us

II. Let Children Show Us How to Teach
5. Lessons from Children
6. The Foundation of Literacy: Writing in the Home, the Nursery School, and the Kindergarten
Growing Up Writing: Grades K, l, and 2
In the Middle: Second and Third Grades
Grades FourÐSix
10. Adolescence: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

III. Ongoing Structures in the Writing Workshop
11. Establish a Predictable Workshop Environment
12. Don't Be Afraid to Teach: Tools to Help Us Create Mini-Lessons
Conferring: Writing Becomes a Tool for Thought
Learning to Confer
Peer Conferring, Response Groups, Share Sessions
Writing Literature Under the Influence of Literature
Publication: The Beginning of the Writerly Life
Apprenticeships in the Writing Workshop: Learning from Authors
19. Editing: Learning the Conventions of Written Language
20. Assessment: A Minds-On Approach to Teaching

IV. The Changing Curriculum in a Writing Workshop
21. A Curriculum Within the Writing Workshop
Genre Studies
Poetry: It Begins in Delight and Ends in Wisdom
24. Making Memoir out of the Pieces of Our Lives
25. Literary Nonfiction
Thematic Studies: Reading the World, Reading the Word

V. Writing Workshop Teaching in a Larger Context
27. Writing to Learn Throughout the Day
28. Workshop Teaching Throughout the Day
The Home/School Connection: Composing Literate Lives in Homes and Neighborhoods
30. Teaching Matters

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An outstanding publication on the latest developments in writing instruction.


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