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Units of Study in Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 7

A Common Core Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, M. Colleen Cruz, Audra Robb, Kelly Boland Hohne, Annie Taranto, Gerrit Jones-Rooy

Seventh graders relish their increasing agency as writers. Accordingly, the grade 7 units embolden these young writers, starting with a unit on writing powerful, realistic fiction, using symbolism and syntax. In Unit 2, students analyze craft and structure in works by beloved authors and then write companion books. The third unit teaches students to write convincing, research-based essays, making arguments to persuade readers to take action. 

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About the Grade 7 Units

Seventh graders relish their growing sense of control over their own lives and their sense of agency. In this first unit of the year, Writing Realistic Fiction: Symbolism, Syntax, and Truth, students write engaging short fiction. They lift the sophistication of their writing through attention to individual scenes, symbols, and writing techniques they’ve discovered from close readings of powerful short fiction. Next, in Unit 2, Writing About Reading: From Reader’s Notebooks to Companion Books, students learn to analyze the craft and structure of the authors they admire and to write for real audiences about why that craft matters. Finally, in Unit 3, The Art of Argument: Research-Based Essays, students learn to write essays that build convincing, nuanced arguments, balancing evidence and analysis to persuade readers to shift their beliefs or take action.

About the Series

Like the K–5 Units of Study series, the Middle School Units of Study 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.

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