A Very Brief Introduction to Principles, Research, and Theory, and How to Use This Book
The idea for a book of writing strategies exists many times over. This one is possible only because of the great books that have come before it. There are books suggesting writing strategies meant for professional writers and college students, such as those by Noah Lukeman, Roy Peter Clark, and Janet Burroway, among others. There are countless examples of excellent compilations of writing strategies in books written for teachers of writing, such as Fletcher and Portalupi’s Craft Lessons Series, Barry Lane’s After “The End” (1993), Carl Anderson’s Strategic Writing Conferences series (2008–2009), Donald Graves’ many books, Katie Wood Ray’s Wondrous Words (1999) and other titles, Katherine Bomer’s books, Georgia Heard’s books, Nancie Atwell’s In the Middle (2014) and other resources, Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study series, and many more. My aim in this book is to offer my favorite, most useful collection of strategies that span all aspects of the writing process, all genres and modes of writing, and that will work well with students in grades K–8. I want to offer you a little bit of everything. I streamlined the language and examples, and I present the strategies in a format that is organized so that the busy teacher can find just the right strategy at just the right moment. Of course, you’ll elaborate on the streamlined language and make it your own.
But wait—before you dive in, I’m so glad you’re taking the time to spend a few moments with this “Getting Started” introduction. In this introduction, you’ll gain a helpful overview of the thinking that undergirds this book’s ideas as well as an overview of its organization. You’ll learn about strategies and all the aspects that I chose to include to elaborate on them—mentor texts, prompts, lesson language, teaching tips, and more. You’ll learn how to navigate the pages of the book so you can find what you’re looking for quickly and easily, for this is not a read-every-single-page kind of book (unless you want it to be). You’ll get a quick crash course on some important terminology and concepts that will help you use this book to its fullest— thoughts about writing as a process, and modes and genres of writing, for example. And finally, you’ll learn how to adapt what’s in the book to fit your students’ writing time in the classroom, no matter what form that time takes.
Click here to download more of the introduction of this book.