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Kid-Tested Writing Lessons for Grades 3-6

Daily Workshop Practices That Support the Common Core State Standards

By Leslie Blauman
Foreword by Susan Zimmermann

In Kid-Tested Writing Lessons, Leslie shares 31 research-based lessons that incorporate mentor texts in four clusters that reflect both key beliefs and the reality of today’s standards-based classroom.

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“These are the tried and true lessons I return to year after year. The lessons that students said made a difference in their writing and that will bring power and beauty to your students’ writing and to your writing classroom.” Leslie Blauman, author of The Inside Guide to the Reading-Writing Classroom

“What’s wrong with a little mentorship?” Leslie Blauman asks. Reap the benefits of her years as a Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC) teacher with 31 of her best kid-tested and approved lessons that lead to great student writing. Not only are these research-based writing lessons kids’ self-proclaimed favorites, they incorporate mentor texts, support the Common Core State Standards, and are research-based.

Four lesson clusters reflect Leslie’s core beliefs for teaching:

  • writing narratives, informative texts, and opinion pieces/arguments
  • a love of language, word play, vocabulary, and poetry
  • writing fictional narratives
  • writing research-based nonfiction.

Use these generative lessons as a springboard—giving them your personal stamp—and watch as they lead to great writing for authentic purposes and in testing situations. 

Click here to save 15% when you buy Leslie's Kid-Tested Writing Lessons and her Inside Guide to the Reading/Writing Classroom together.

(click any section below to continue reading)


Lesson Cluster One: Writing Narratives, Informative Texts, and Opinion Pieces: In Pursuit of Paragraphs
1. Envisioning, Planning, and Note Taking: Immersing Ourselves in Our Topic
2. Drafting: Shaping Our Ideas
3. Revising: Looking at Our Work with New Eyes
4. Editing: Polishing Our Writing
5. Finalizing: Taking Our Work Public

Lesson Cluster Two: Instilling a Love of Language, Word Play, Vocabulary, and Poetry
6. Discovering New Words in the Context of Beautiful Language
7. Letting Poetry Teach Kids
8. Lifting Lines from Mentor Texts
9. Writing Poetry

Lesson Cluster Three: Writing Fictional Narratives
10. Gathering Texts and Setting the Stage: Immersion
11. Envisioning Stories
12. Creating Characters
13. Sketching the Setting
14. Plotting Promising Problems
15. Leading Off
16. Writing Under the Influence: Drafting, Revising, and Editing
17. Wrapping It Up: Endings in Narratives
18. Finalizing, Reflecting, Going Public, and Celebrating!

Lesson Cluster Four: Writing Nonfiction: Getting Beyond the Five-Paragraph Theme
19. Gathering Texts
20. Launching an Inquiry Study
21. Making Expectations Explicit
22. Becoming Experts
23. Asking Questions to Guide Research
24. Determining Importance of Ideas in Text
25. Developing Voice While Taking Notes
26. Envisioning Text
27. Using Paragraphs Effectively
28. Writing Leads
29. Organizing Ideas
30. Drafting, Editing, and Revising
31. Presenting and Sharing Students’ Texts and Knowledge

Appendix A: Editing Timeline
Appendix B: Revision Timeline
Appendix C: Record Sheets