Finding the Heart of Nonfiction by Georgia Heard. Teaching 7 Essential Craft Tools with Mentor Texts - Heinemann Publishing
Finding the Heart of Nonfiction
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Finding the Heart of Nonfiction

Teaching 7 Essential Craft Tools with Mentor Texts

"Good writing is good writing no matter what genre you’re writing in, and I believe that there are only a handful of fundamental craft tools that are essential for any genre—including nonfiction."
Georgia Heard

Humanity and warmth are the cornerstones of quality nonfiction writing. But how can students create them in genres that at first seem more informational than intimate? In Finding the Heart of Nonfiction, Georgia Heard shows how mentor texts can help students read for seven essential craft tools and then use them to create inviting nonfiction that keeps readers’ interest.

Lyrical and practical,...


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Full Description

"Good writing is good writing no matter what genre you’re writing in, and I believe that there are only a handful of fundamental craft tools that are essential for any genre—including nonfiction."
Georgia Heard

Humanity and warmth are the cornerstones of quality nonfiction writing. But how can students create them in genres that at first seem more informational than intimate? In Finding the Heart of Nonfiction, Georgia Heard shows how mentor texts can help students read for seven essential craft tools and then use them to create inviting nonfiction that keeps readers’ interest.

Lyrical and practical, Finding the Heart of Nonfiction describes how to choose mentor texts, use them, and mine them for exemplary instruction. Between these suggestions and the instructional ideas, Georgia shows how students can write nonfiction that informs and inspires. You’ll find thoughtful, immediately useful support as you:

  • introduce nonfiction with her handpicked, reproducible mentor texts
  • get students writing with the instructional ideas in Georgia’s “Try This” sections
  • familiarize writers with nonfiction craft and text features
  • connect nonfiction work to the Common Core State Standards
  • collect mentor texts tailored to your students.

“My hope,” writes Georgia, “is that you and your students will be inspired by the mentor texts I’ve chosen—but also inspired to seek out your own mentor texts and continue to explore the world through nonfiction.” Trust Finding the Heart of Nonfiction and help your students write with purpose, voice, and passion.

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Contents

Introduction: Mentor Texts: Opening the World to Writing

Part I: Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Learning to Write from Writers
Try This Modeling with Your Own Mentor Texts
Reproducible My Mentor Text Note-Taking Sheet
Try This Using Different Lenses to Read
Try This Creating Nonfiction Mentor Text Anthologies
Try This Fitting It All in with Nonfiction Mondays

Part II. Teaching Nonfiction Craft Tools with Mentor Texts

1. Focus: The Hearth of Nonfiction Writing
Try This Distilling Information into a Six-Word Memoir
Try This Studying Titles to Learn About Focus
Try This Writing a Poem to Help Focus a Topic

2. Turning Facts into Scenes: Writing with Imagery
Try This Writing with Imagery (more experienced writers)
Try This Writing with Imagery (less experienced writers)
Try This Writing Photo-Essays: Being Inspired by Visual Imagery
Reproducible Turning Facts into Scenes: Writing with Imagery

3. Leads: The Doorway into Writing
Try This Learning from Leads
Reproducible Leads

4. Point of View and Voice: Who Are We When We Write?
Try This Studying Point of View
Reproducible Point of View
Try This Considering Voice
Reproducible Voice: Who Are We When We Write?

5. Precise Language: Details, Details, and More Details
Try This Using Sensory Words
Reproducible Sensory Words
Try This Using Precise Language
Reproducible Precise Language: Concrete Nouns and Active Verbs
Try This Using Personification to Make Nonfiction Writing Come Alive
Reproducible Figurative Language: Simile and Metaphor
Reproducible Figurative Language: Personification
Try This Generating Domain-Specific Vocabulary

6. Text Structures: Writing Bird by Bird
Try This Structuring and Organizing Nonfiction

7. Endings: Letting Words Linger
Reproducible Endings

Nuts and Bolts: More Tools of the Nonfiction Trade

  • Using Nonfiction Text Features in Meaningful Ways
  • Using Dialogue and Quotes from Primary Source Material
  • Ensuring Truth and Accuracy
  • Varying Sentence Length
  • Citing Sources and Creating a Bibliography

Samples

Reviews

"I fell in love with this book before I even turned a page.... Georgia Heard’s Finding the Heart of Nonfiction is more than the words she wrote. The book is beautifully crafted.... Luckily for us, what’s inside the book–and the ways in which Heard gently informs the reader of the powers of using mentor texts to inspire creative nonfiction in young writers–is perfectly attuned to the book’s design."
–Kevin Hodgson, Middle Web
Read the entire review here.

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