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.

Follow Characters, Setting, and Sequence Over Time

Follow Characters, Setting, and Sequence Over Time

Best the Test

Despite the fact that standardized tests rely on short passages, it’s the students’ ability to “bank” important information and insights across whole texts that serves them well on exams. Focus class discussions and practice on strategies readers use to sustain understanding over the course of a short story or chapter book. Specifically:

  • Readers need to be open-minded so that as the author plants clues for how characters are evolving and how events can turn things upside down, the reader picks up these clues readily.
  • Readers need to become increasingly adept in their ability to compare and contrast characters within a book or characters in separate texts.
  • Provide students with ample opportunities to ...
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