A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Writing About Reading

From Book Talk to Literary Essays, Grades 3-8

Janet Angelillo
Foreword by Katie Wood Ray

ISBN 978-0-325-00578-2 / 0-325-00578-8 / 2003 / 160pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: 3rd - 8th
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    Want to know how to teach students to think and write powerfully about texts? Read this remarkable book now. You'll be glad you did.
    —Carl Anderson, author of How's It Going?
    What sets Writing About Reading apart is that Janet Angelillo shows us how to move children beyond the rich conversations and unpolished writing they do to capture their thinking, and into clear, articulate writing about their thinking about reading.
    —Katie Wood Ray, author of What You Know by Heart
    This must-have book will enable teachers to develop their students' ability to use authentic writing tasks to deepen what they know and understand about their reading.
    —Laura Robb, author of Literacy Links and Redefining Staff Development

Janet Angelillo introduces us to an entirely new way of thinking about writing about reading. She shows us how to teach students to manage all the thinking and questioning that precedes their putting pen to paper. More than that, she offers us smarter ways to have students write about their reading that can last them a lifetime. She demonstrates how students' responses to reading can

  • start in a notebook, in conversation, or in a read aloud
  • lead to thinking guided by literary criticism
  • reflect deeper text analysis and honest writing processes
  • result in a variety of popular genres--book reviews, author profiles, commentaries, editorials, and the literary essay.
She even includes tools for teaching—day-by-day units of study, teaching points, a sample minilesson, and lots of student examples—plus chapters on yearlong planning and assessment.


Ensure that your students will be readers and writers long after they leave you. Get them enthused and empowered to use whatever they read—facts, statistics, the latest book—as fuel for writing in school and in their working lives. Read Angelillo.

1. You Have to Have an Idea
2. Thinking and Talking About Texts in Read-Aloud and Partnership Conversations
3. Literary Thinking Across Texts
4. Using a Readers Norebook and Making Plans for Longer Writing
5. Genres of Writing About Reading
6. The Literary Essay
7. Writing About Reading in the Content Areas
8. Assessment: Evaluating the Work of Writing About Reading
Conclusion: Final Thoughts-Changing Students as Readers Forever
Bibliography: List of Recommended Children’s Books

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PD Resources From Janet Angelillo


  • Invite Janet Angelillo to speak at your school, district, or conference through Heinemann Speakers.

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Want to know how to teach students to think and write powerfully about texts? Read this remarkable book now. You'll be glad you did.