Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning
101 Lessons & Mentor Texts--Narrative, Opinion/Argument, & Informative/Explanatory, Grades 4-9
- Gretchen Bernabei - Consultant, Educator, Trail of Breadcrumbs
- Judi Reimer - Educator, Freelance Writer
Foreword by Barry Lane
English/Language Arts Common Core | Writing (Middle/High School) | Writing (Primary/Elementary)
Just as the pressure for students to perform well on state assessments escalates ever higher, and the call to raise students’ achievement in narrative, opinion/argument , and informative/explanatory writing grows louder, Gretchen Bernabei and Judi Reimer publish Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning. If ever there were a book to answer every need, this is it.
You see, Gretchen and Judi have been concerned about adolescents’ writing for years, and they have had amazing success using mentor texts by students to teach the ins and outs of writing in any genre. So with this book, they “hand over their file drawers” and provide you with 101 essays written by students with one-page companion lessons that address text structure, imagery, dialogue, rhetorical devices, grammatical structures, textual blends--all the different tools that writers use.
Organized into three major sections that align with the Common Core, STAAR, and other major state assessments, Fun-Size Academic Writing delivers succinct, powerhouse instruction on topics such as:
• How to choose a structure for argument, informational, or narrative writing
• How to read a piece and extract thesis statement and main points
• How to layer a wide range of details to support points
• How to use rhetorical devices and grammatical constructions for effect
• How to write from the point of view of a fictional character
The essays—also available in reproducible form on the companion website--demonstrate something striking, something imitable, something concrete. They give students a bank of choices to call upon as they write. The lessons are short, practical, and full of variety. Collectively, these essays and lessons have the potential to move the needle on American students’ writing achievement once and for all. They show what has been done by students—and they reveal to you how your own students can do it, too.
Click here for an electronic book tour of Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning.
“Here is what I love about this book: It has gobs and gobs of student writing samples with smart and lively explanations of how to use each as the focus of a craft lesson to teach writing. The right models of student writing are the best mentor texts a teacher can find and with this book, you need look no further. . . . Breathe, fellow writing teachers. Much needed and wanted help has arrived.”
“Gretchen Bernabei is a wizard. In this book she provides wonderfully practical help for instruction in narrative, expository, and argumentative writing. And like all her work, it rests on a dynamic sense of ‘structure’. At a time when writing instruction is becoming increasingly formulaic, Gretchen continues to show the wealth of options students can have for developing their ideas and expanding on their experiences.”
“Gretchen Bernabei has done it again--only better. Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning plops us down in the middle of the disheveled process of writing and gives us concrete ways to navigate through. This book stands apart in two ways. First, it gives us myriad unpublished mentor texts written by students with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Second, its a la carte format makes it a perfect resource from which teachers can cull lessons.”
“Once again, Gretchen Bernabei weaves together masterful, concrete strategies with powerful student examples. Gretchen provides text structures and student models to move authentic writing beyond traditional formulas. This book is a must read/must try for all ELA teachers.”
“The good news is that the book you hold in your hand is a lifeline to real writing instruction. Based on careful observation of wonderfully varied student writing, grades 4-9, and organized around the genres of the Common Core Standards, Fun-Sized Academic Writing is the best book I know for giving students a fun-sized suit that fits their true voices as writers and thinkers.”
Sample Materials & Chapters
Part II Informative/Explanatory