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Novel Perspectives

Writing Minilessons Inspired by the Children in Adult Fiction

By Shelley Harwayne

For the first time, Shelley Harwayne shares her own writing minilessons with you. Combining her passion for reading adult literature with her commitment to supporting students' efforts to produce powerful and effective writing, Harwayne presents fifty-seven lessons for upper elementary and middle school that take teaching with exemplar texts in a dynamic new direction.

Each minilesson includes passages from carefully chosen novels, all of which feature children as main characters. You'll find lessons built around passages from such famed writers as Toni Morrison, Dorothy Allison, Sandra Cisneros,...

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For the first time, Shelley Harwayne shares her own writing minilessons with you. Combining her passion for reading adult literature with her commitment to supporting students' efforts to produce powerful and effective writing, Harwayne presents fifty-seven lessons for upper elementary and middle school that take teaching with exemplar texts in a dynamic new direction.

Each minilesson includes passages from carefully chosen novels, all of which feature children as main characters. You'll find lessons built around passages from such famed writers as Toni Morrison, Dorothy Allison, Sandra Cisneros, Khaled Hosseini, Barbara Kingsolver, Pete Hamill, Elizabeth Berg, Rebecca Wells, Philip Roth, Ann Beattie, Ursula Hegi, and Jamaica Kincaid, lessons that will inspire students to be as inquisitive, observant, and reflective as their fictional counterparts.

The minilessons in Novel Perspectives contain the actual words Harwayne uses in sharing these lessons with students and are divided into five categories:
  • discovering topics
  • marveling at the world
  • revising writing
  • loving language
  • learning from fictional characters who take their reading and writing seriously.
Each minilesson promotes engagement with text as a way into successful writing but also stimulates classroom conversation, builds community, fights passivity, and gives students a chance to reinforce the notion that their lives are worth writing about.

Novel Perspectives will inspire you to make time for your own reading and to begin merging your passion for books with your passion for teaching. Keep it next to your stack of must-reads, and as you discover passages perfect for your classroom, consult it for the best way to energize your writing workshop.

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