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Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade K

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Amanda Hartman, Natalie Louis, Laurie Pessah, Elizabeth Moore, Elizabeth Franco

Lucy and her TCRWP colleagues draw on over 30 years of work to help children begin their lifelong writing journeys in kindergarten. Growth in kindergarten writing is astounding. Youngsters begin approximating writing in the first unit by drawing and labeling their own books. By the second unit, they begin to write true stories. In subsequent units, children write informational how-to texts and craft persuasive texts like petitions. 

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About the Kindergarten Units

The kindergarten units begin with Lucy and her colleagues helping children approximate writing by drawing and labeling first in all-about books and then in stories. The first unit, Launching the Writing Workshop, acknowledges that most children will be labeling their drawings—and the letters in those labels will include squiggles and diamonds. The second unit, Writing for Readers, helps children write true stories—but does so fully aware that the hard part will be writing read-able words. Growth in kindergarten is spectacular, and by the later kindergarten units, children are invited to use their new-found powers to live writerly lives. In How-To Books: Writing to Teach Others, Unit 3, students write informational how-to texts on a procedure familiar to them. In Persuasive Writing of All Kinds: Using Words to Make a Change, the fourth and final unit in the kindergarten series, students craft petitions, persuasive letters, and signs that rally people to address problems in the classroom, the school, and the world.

About the Series

Lucy Calkins and her colleagues have drawn on their work from more than three decades to develop a state-of-the-art curriculum in writing to:

  • help you teach opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
  • foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
  • develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
  • support greater independence and fluency
  • conduct strategic performance assessments to help monitor students’ progress and differentiate instruction
  • provide a ladder of exemplar texts that model writing progressions across grades.

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