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Writing in the Middle DVD

Workshop Essentials

By Nancie Atwell

Take a seat in Nancie’s writing workshop. You’ll see how she organizes her classroom, hear her teaching language, and be part of her conferences with students.

Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.


In Stock

List Price: $249.38

Web/School Price: $199.50

Full Description

"My role is to demonstrate why people write, communicate specific expectations, establish structures that help kids focus and be deliberate, teach relevant lessons they can put to use to see a difference in the quality of their writing, and advise them as someone who has learned some things along the way about how good writing looks and sounds." —Nancie Atwell

Writing in the Middle is the opportunity of a teaching lifetime: to watch Nancie Atwell at work, side by side with her students as they become skillful, intentional writers. On this staff development DVD, Nancie shows us the methods that have made In the Middle a celebrated classic. You’ll see how she helps students develop topics they care about, provides practical advice that transforms both writing and writer, and creates the conditions that lead her students to finish more than twenty pieces of writing each year and to win recognition for their excellence as writers.

Nancie gives us a guided tour of her classroom, a seat in her writing workshop, and a CD full of before-and-after samples of her students’ work, plus her own reproducible forms. We see how she:

  • sets clear expectations and ground rules for writing workshop
  • talks with individuals and helps them move their writing forward, toward literature
  • presents accessible minilessons that demonstrate the processes and practices of effective writers
  • inspires every student she teaches to engage, produce, and improve as a writer.

Thirty years in the making, Writing in the Middle highlights the practices that have made Nancie one of America’s most respected and influential educators. It inspires teachers to new heights so that we, like Nancie, can look back in June and say, "My students and I worked this year. The work was real. And I was of use to my kids."

Video Run Time: 1 Hr. 51 Min.

Learn about Nancie’s companion DVD Reading in the Middle.

Click here to save 25% when you buy Reading in the Middle and Writing in the Middle together.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)




Preparing and Organizing Your Classroom: A Classroom Tour

Nancie Demonstrates How She Gets Ready for a Year of Writing Workshop


Launching a Year of Writing Workshop

Writing Ideas or Territories

Expectations for Writing Workshop, and Poetry as the Mother Genre


The First Day of Writing Workshop

Rules for Writing Workshop

Talking with Individual Writers

· Establishing a First-Person Voice and Presence (Hope)

· Finding a Structure (Emma)

· Creating a Form (Natalie, a student new to writing workshop)

· Adding Sensory Details (Max)

· Formatting and Concluding (Patrick, a struggling writer)


One Month In: Deepening Students’ Understandings

New Possibilities for Poetry: Techniques and Topics Students Found During a Reading of a Class Anthology of Their September Poems

Heart Maps: Small-Group Discussion of New Ideas for Poetry Topics

Focus on Weak vs. Sensory Verbs: A Craft Minilesson

Talking with Individual Writers

· The Power of Concrete Specifics (Hope)

· Adding Details to Highlight a Contrast and Develop a Theme (Heidi)

· Experimenting with Capitalization as a Text Feature (Nate)

· Trying an Ode and Writing Off the Page (Patrick)

· Identifying a Strong Verb and Eliminating an Adverb (Max)

· Maintaining a Tone (Tess)

· Learning about a Form (Tristan, a student new to writing workshop)

· Nudging a Writer to Consider Tone (Natalie, a student new to writing workshop)

· Cutting Poetry to the Bone (Ben, a struggling writer)

· Nudging a Writer to Put Meaning Before Form (Cole, a student new to writing workshop)

· Following Up with Cole


Launching a New Genre Study: Memoir

Identifying Successful Features in a Student Memoir, “Outline of a Broken Heart” by Nathaniel Williams


Students Discuss the Writer’s Craft

Nate and Emma Talk with Nancie about How They Draw on the Minilessons in Their Handbooks to Craft Poems That Matter


High Expectations and Practical Advice

Nancie Discusses Two Essentials in Helping Students Grow as Writers



“It is always nice to see concepts in action, especially when it is a teacher so highly regarded as Nancie Atwell. I appreciated seeing her calm, yet firm demeanor to set up the ideal workshop environment….”  Read the rest of Mrs. V.’s review here