One in a million. Yes, that’s how rare it is to have so many write-about-reading strategies so beautifully put to use. Each year Leslie Blauman guides her students to become highly skilled at supporting their thinking about texts, and in Evidence-Based Writing: Fiction, she shares her win-win process. Leslie combed the ELA standards and all her favorite books and built a lesson structure you can use in two ways: with an entire text or with just the excerpts she’s included in the book. Addressing Evidence, Character, Theme, Point of View, Visuals, Words and Structure, each section includes: Lessons you can use as teacher demonstrations or for guided practice, with Best the Test tips on how to authentically teach the skills that show up on exams with the texts you teach. Prompt Pages serve as handy references, giving students the key questions to ask themselves as they read any text and consider how an author’s meaning and structure combine. Excerpts-to-Write About Pages feature carefully selected passages from novels, short stories, and picture books you already know and love and questions that require students to discover a text’s literal and deeper meanings. Write-About-Reading Templates scaffold students to think about a text efficiently by focusing on its critical literary elements or text structure demands and help them rehearse for more extensive responses. Writing Tasks invite students to transform their notes into a more developed paragraph or essay with sufficiently challenging tasks geared for grades 6-8. And best of all, your students gain a confidence in responding to complex texts and ideas that will serve them well in school, on tests, and in any situation when they are asked: What are you basing that on? Show me how you know.

Visuals
Visuals

Visual images draw us into books. Think of those big old novels by Dickens, Thackeray, and Eliot and how they lure even the most literary of us in with a four-color cover image. Think of the way visuals lead our youngest readers to “read” books by using the pictures to tell the story. Think of our English language learners and how viewing pictures can be the great equalizer. And lastly, think of the last time you read an article in some business or science journal that, well, befuddled you until your gaze landed on a bar graph or colorful chart that made it astoundingly easy to understand the concept.

Visual images are not just pretty window dressing on text. More and more, they are ...

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