NOW AVAILABLE: Units of Study for Teaching Writing Video Orientations, Grades K-8 View now!
Implement a rigorous and responsive middle school writing workshop
“The Common Core State Standards call for high levels of writing proficiency. Meeting these standards requires a planned, sequential, explicit writing program, with instruction that gives students repeated opportunities to practice each kind of writing and to receive explicit, assessment-informed feedback at frequent intervals. The tools in these units of study can be the bedrock of such a writing program.”
— Lucy Calkins
Lucy Calkins and her colleagues from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project are extending their bestselling writing workshop curriculum to the middle school grades. Like the K–5 Units of Study series, the middle school series not only provides a coherent, systematic curriculum in the three types of writing mandated by the Common Core—opinion/argument, information, and narrative writing—it also reflects the latest research on data-based, responsive instruction.
• 3 grade-specific units of study
-- Are organized around the three types of writing mandated by the Common Core—argument, information, and narrative writing
-- Lay out six weeks of instruction (16–18 sessions) in each unit
-- Include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
-- Model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language
• If... Then... Curriculum: Assessment-Based Instruction, Grades 6–8
-- Offers nine alternate units of study
-- Presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation
• Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, 6–8
-- Is organized around a 6–8 learning progression across argument, information, and narrative writing
-- Includes performance assessments, student checklists, rubrics, and leveled writing exemplars
• A Guide to the Common Core Writing Workshop, Grades 6–8 crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective writing workshop instruction.
• The Resources for Teaching Writing CD-ROM provides unit-specific print resources to support your teaching throughout the year.
Grade 6 units of study
• Unit 1, Personal Narrative: Crafting Powerful Life Stories helps students write true stories, learning strategies to generate meaningful story ideas, manage pace, elaborate on important scenes, and deepen insights.
• In Unit 2, The Literary Essay: From Character to Compare/Contrast, sixth graders craft essays that make arguments about characters and themes, learning strategies essayists use to gather, analyze, and explain evidence from the text to support their claims.
• In Unit 3, Research-Based Information Writing: Books, Websites, and Presentations, sixth graders learn ways to research and write informational essays, books, and digital presentations or websites to teach their readers about a topic, using increasingly sophisticated ways to draw on and structure information to explain a position or make a call to action.
Grade 7 units of study
• In Unit 1, Writing Realistic Fiction: Symbolism, Syntax, and Truth, students write engaging short fiction, creating action-filled plots and believable characters and crafting nuanced, memorable scenes.
• In Unit 2, Writing About Reading: From Reader's Notebooks to Companion Books, seventh graders intensify their engagement with reading by writing innovative, reflective companion books that explain, develop, and extend ideas about books they love.
• In Unit 3, The Art of Argument: Research-Based Essays, seventh graders learn to write essays that build convincing, nuanced arguments, balancing evidence and analysis to persuade readers to shift their beliefs or take action.
Grade 8 units of study
• In Unit 1, Investigative Journalism, eighth graders learn to use sharp observations of life to write news and investigative articles about meaningful topics, crafting vivid narratives, and elaborating multiple perspectives.
• In Unit 2, Literary Essay: Analyzing Craft and Theme, students write arguments and counterarguments about themes in texts, supporting their positions with details of plot, character, and author's craft.
• In Unit 3, Position Papers: Research and Argument, students learn ways writers explain complex issues and compose arguments by drawing on evidence, contextualizing their positions, and addressing multiple perspectives.
To learn more about the Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing series, visit UnitsofStudy.com
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