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Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 1 with Trade Book Pack

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins

These units are written for first graders who have just begun tapping into their powers as readers and writers. Children begin in the first unit by exploring narrative writing, turning everyday events into well-structured stories. In Unit 2, kids write “how-to-teach” nonfiction texts, followed by Unit 3, in which they write persuasive reviews. In the final unit, children will grow from writing scenes to writing an entire fiction series.

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About the Grade 1 Units

The first-grade units are written for children who are just tapping into their burgeoning powers as readers as well as writers, and believe they can do anything. Students begin with the always-popular unit Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue. In this unit students take the everyday events of their young lives and make them into focused, well-structured stories, then they learn to breathe life into the characters by making them talk, think, and interact. In Unit 2, Nonfiction Chapter Books, students enter the world of informational writing as they combine pictures and charts with domain-specific vocabulary and craft moves to create engaging teaching texts. In Unit 3, Writing Reviews, students create persuasive reviews of all sorts—pizza restaurant reviews, TV show reviews, ice cream flavor reviews, and finally book reviews that hook the reader, clearly express the writer’s opinion, and bolster their argument in convincing ways. In From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction, the final unit of the Grade 1 series, students learn to “show, not tell” and use action, dialogue, and feelings to create a whole series of fiction books modeled after Henry and Mudge.

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.

Additional Resource Information

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