Crafting Nonfiction Primary by Linda Hoyt. Lessons on Writing Process,
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Crafting Nonfiction Primary
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Crafting Nonfiction Primary

Lessons on Writing Process, Traits, and Craft (grades K-2)

“Nonfiction writing does not need to sound like an encyclopedia. It can be richly constructed with a wide variety of sentence patterns. Craft elements and literary devices should be highlighted and employed in nonfiction selections just as carefully as we implement them in fiction.” Linda Hoyt

Nonfiction writers need to develop a broad arsenal of sentence structures so their writing is rich, varied, and fluid. They need to consider how powerful verbs can accentuate their voice and make their nonfiction writing more compelling. They need to reflect on how carefully selected details can bring a...

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This product is part of the series:  The Explorations in Nonfiction Writing Series

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Full Description

“Nonfiction writing does not need to sound like an encyclopedia. It can be richly constructed with a wide variety of sentence patterns. Craft elements and literary devices should be highlighted and employed in nonfiction selections just as carefully as we implement them in fiction.” Linda Hoyt

Nonfiction writers need to develop a broad arsenal of sentence structures so their writing is rich, varied, and fluid. They need to consider how powerful verbs can accentuate their voice and make their nonfiction writing more compelling. They need to reflect on how carefully selected details can bring a setting to life and invite their reader to understand more deeply. Focused on the process and traits of being a writer and how to best address the needs and expectations of nonfiction readers, Linda Hoyt’s Crafting Nonfiction offers targeted minilessons that will help you elevate craft, integrate trait-based instruction, and elevate control over conventions.

This series includes:


This resource is organized into two major sections: Process and Traits and Craft. Within each major section, you’ll find subsections that are designed to make lessons organized and easy to find.

Process lessons are grouped according to the stages of the writing process. In Planning and Research, you will find a wealth of resources that range from modeling how to identify facts in a photograph to how to add factual detail to an illustration to how to use the key word strategy. In the Drafting section, lessons focus on helping writers get their thinking onto the page using picture alphabet cards, stretching words to say them slowly, or writing about a picture. Revising is the section where you will find helpful modeled writing lessons on how to add details, how to combine sentences, how to add ideas by cutting and pasting, and how to tune up sensory images. In the sections Editing and Presenting, the lessons turn toward audience and focus on spacing, spelling, and publishing.

The section Traits and Craft contains rich lessons that focus on the artistic side of writing. In this section, lessons are organized around traits of quality nonfiction writing, with craft elements woven into each section. The traits are as follows:
• Ideas
• Organization and text features
• Word choice and sentence fluency
• Voice and audience
• Conventions (punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, capitalization, spelling consciousness)

Introduction 1
Teaching Nonfiction Writing 2
Crafting Nonfiction 9
Ongoing Formative Assessment: Informant to Instruction 17
Record keeping Forms 27
Master Lesson Chart 32

Lesson 1. Identify Facts in a Visual 44
Lesson 2. Locate and Use Important Words and Phrases: Alphabox 46
Lesson 3. Locate and Use Facts from Multiple Sources 48
Lesson 4. Create a Visual that Contains Facts 50
Lesson 5. Place Labels on Illustrations 52
Lesson 6. Use I Remember! to Summarize Information 54
Lesson 7. Sketch to Stretch: Visual Summary 56
Lesson 8. Use the Very Important Points (VIP) Strategy for Key Information 58
Lesson 9. Use a Pocket Organizer 60
Lesson 10. Using a Research Notebook 62
Lesson 1. Draw Pictures Before You Write 66
Lesson 2. Talk Before You Write 68
Lesson 3. Create a Labeled Diagram 70
Lesson 4. Map Out Your Writing with Informational Pictures 72
Lesson 5. Planning Page Layout and Paper Selection 74
Lesson 6. Gather Information with the Key Word Strategy 76
Lesson 1. Write About Your Pictures 80
Lesson 2. Stretching Words . . . Listening to Sounds 82
Lesson 3. Using a Picture-Alphabet Card 84
Lesson 4. Count the Words in a Message 86
Lesson 5. Use Mostly Lowercase Letters 88
Lesson 6. Scratching Out . . . Changing Your Mind 90
Lesson 7. Turning Notes into Sentences 92
Lesson 1. Revising to Add Details 96
Lesson 2. Adding Words with a Caret 98
Lesson 3. Revising a Lead to Make It Stronger 100
Lesson 4. Sentence Combining 102
Lesson 5. Adding Ideas by Cutting and Taping 104
Lesson 6. Revising to Add Variety to Sentence Beginnings 106
Lesson 7. Checking the Closing 108
Lesson 8. Deleting Extra Words 110
Lesson 9. Recasting a Single Page as a Book 112
Lesson 10. Tuning Up Sensory Images 114
Lesson 11. Stick to the Main Idea 116
Lesson 12. Using a Revision Checklist 118
5. EDITING 120
Lesson 1. Word Boundaries: Keep Letters in a Word Close Together 122
Lesson 2. Reread and Touch Each Word 124
Lesson 3. Focused Edits: Reread for Each Editing Point 126
Lesson 4. Reread to Add Letters to Words 128
Lesson 5. Using Spelling Consciousness While Editing 130
Lesson 6. Using an Editing Checklist 132
Lesson 7. How to Peer Edit 134
Lesson 8. Using Familiar Resources to Help You Edit 136
Lesson 1. Handwriting Is Neat and Legible 140
Lesson 2. Illustrations Are Detailed and Add Information 142
Lesson 3. Page Layout Includes Effective Use of Margins 144
Lesson 4. Careful Spacing Between Words Clarifi es Word Boundaries 146
Lesson 5. In Final Drafts Most Words Are Spelled Correctly 148
Lesson 6. About the Author 150

Lesson 1. Creating a Topic List 154
Lesson 2. Write About Pictures 156
Lesson 3. Narrow the Topic 158
Lesson 4. Infuse Interesting Details 160
Lesson 5. Add a Little Action 162
Lesson 6. Make the Setting Stand Out 164
Lesson 7. Teach Your Reader Something New 166
Lesson 8. Separating Fact and Opinion 168
Lesson 9. Details Highlight Attributes of Subject 170
Lesson 10. Using Comparisons 172
Lesson 11. Focus on “One” 174
Lesson 1. Main Idea Maintained Throughout 178
Lesson 2. Pictures and Words Work Together 180
Lesson 3. Plan the Beginning and End . . . Then the Middle 182
Lesson 4. Use a Logical Sequence 184
Lesson 5. Details Support Main Idea 186
Lesson 6. Create an Inviting Lead 188
Lesson 7. Craft a Satisfying Ending 190
Lesson 8. Organizing with a Graphic Organizer 192
Lesson 9. Multiple Pages Are Used: Page Breaks Support Units of Meaning 194
Lesson 10. Paragraphs 196
Lesson 11. Create a Question and Answer Book 198
Lesson 12. Sharing Information as a List Poem 200
Lesson 1. Choose a Title that Is Interesting 204
Lesson 2. Headings Help Your Reader 206
Lesson 3. Questions Make Great Headings 208
Lesson 4. Add Captions to Illustrations 210
Lesson 5. Diagrams with Labels 212
Lesson 6. Bold Words 214
Lesson 7. Table of Contents 216
Lesson 8. Insert Page Numbers 218
Lesson 9. Chart/Table/Graph 220
Lesson 10. Bullets 222
Lesson 1. Use Descriptive Words and Phrases 226
Lesson 2. Target Powerful Action Verbs 228
Lesson 3. Select Words that Show Order or Sequence 230
Lesson 4. Use Words and Phrases to Focus on Location or Place 232
Lesson 5. Beginning Sentences with -ing Words 234
Lesson 6. Add Action: Group -ing Words Together 236
Lesson 7. Use Onomatopoeia 238
Lesson 8. Compound Descriptors and Hyphens 240
Lesson 9. Have Fun with Alliteration 242
Lesson 10. Transition Words to Add Information or Conclude 244
Lesson 1. Sentences Are of Varying Lengths 248
Lesson 2. Reading Aloud to Check Sentence Fluency 250
Lesson 3. Varied Sentence Beginnings 252
Lesson 4. Varying Sentence Beginnings with Prepositional Phrases 254
Lesson 5. Varying Sentence Beginnings with Phrases Focused on Time 256
Lesson 6. The Rule of Three 258
Lesson 1. Developing an Awareness of Voice 262
Lesson 2. Speak Directly to Your Reader 264
Lesson 3. Consider: Capture the Interest of Your Reader 266
Lesson 4. Pick a Topic You Find Interesting 268
Lesson 5. Pick an Enticing Title 270
Lesson 6. Make Your Writing Sound Like You 272
Lesson 7. At the End, Reveal Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Opinions 274
Lesson 8. Show Excitement in Writing 276
Lesson 9. Include Humor or Surprise 278
Lesson 10. Voice Shifts with Your Audience 280
Lesson 11. Draw Your Reader into the Setting 282
Lesson 12. Shifting Point of View 284
Lesson 1. End Punctuation (statement) 288
Lesson 2. End Punctuation (question) 290
Lesson 3. End Punctuation (exclamation point) 292
Lesson 4. Comma in a Series 294
Lesson 5. Comma: After Introductory Element or Clause 296
Lesson 6. Use a Variety of Punctuation Elements 298
14. GRAMMAR 300
Lesson 1. Singular and Plural Nouns 302
Lesson 2. Subject and Verb Agreement 304
Lesson 3. Verb Tense 306
Lesson 4. Pronoun Order 308
Lesson 5. Single vs Double Subject 310
Lesson 6. Open with an Adverb 312
Lesson 7. Use Stellar Adjectives 314
Lesson 1. Two-Word Sentences 318
Lesson 2. Simple Sentences 320
Lesson 3. Compound Sentences 322
Lesson 4. Introductory Phrases or Clauses 324
Lesson 5. Appositives: An Interrupter that Clarifi es or Explains 326
Lesson 1. Capitalize Beginning of Sentences 330
Lesson 2. Proper Nouns: Names and Places 332
Lesson 3. Capitalize Important Words in a Title 334
Lesson 4. Capitalize for Emphasis 336
Lesson 1. Spelling Consciousness: Notice When Words Are Not Spelled Correctly 340
Lesson 2. Stretching Words . . . Writing Sounds You Know 342
Lesson 3. Strategic Spellers Pay Attention to Syllables 344
Lesson 4. Strategic Spellers Use a Variety of Resources 346
Lesson 5. Navigating Homophones 348

CD-ROM Index 350
Index 356


Companion Resources

Common Core correlation to Explorations in Nonfiction Writing series


The teacher modeled lessons start the immersion of my students as writers into what excites them as learners! To quote a visitor to our classroom Writer's Workshop, "To see the pride in even the most struggling writer's eyes is priceless." Thank you to Explorations! On a funny side note...I have bought several of the Exploration books because when parents who teach in other districts come to their child's parent teacher conference, they ask what I use to engage their child in writing. I've given three Explorations in Non Fiction Writing away so far this year!

–Denise Lukingbeal, Second Grade Teacher
Ellsworth Hill Elementary

Explorations in Nonfiction Writing provided me with a structured framework to encourage nonfiction writing across the curriculum. The step-by-step lessons are relevant, concise and easy to follow. Incorporating Explorations into my classroom helped me feel confident that I was meeting the expectations of the Common Core Standards as well as meeting the needs of all my students.

–Patty Montgomery, Third Grade Teacher
McDowell Elementary

Since we began using Explorations in Nonfiction Writing 3 years ago, I have seen a significant increase in the excitement and energy for nonfiction writing among our teachers and students. With Explorations’ focus on inquiry, research, and the craft of writing, the quality of student writing has increased year after year. Our students no longer just regurgitate facts, they careful plan and utilize strategies to make their nonfiction writing more interesting for the reader. Explorations provides support for teachers in teaching the features of effective writing through high quality modeled writing and the gradual release of responsibility--creating capacity for all teachers to be great writing teachers.

–April Willard, Literacy Curriculum Specialist
Liberty Drive Elementary

The lessons in Explorations in Nonfiction Writing equip both the writer and the reader for success by making the reading and writing connections explicit. Each lesson is easily adaptable to fit into every part of the instructional day making it a valued resource in writers workshop and across the curriculum.

–Elaine Shobert, Curriculum Coordinator
North Carolina

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