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: Nonfiction, 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, Relationships, Main Idea, 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 current biographies, informational books, and articles on the topics you teach 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 craft 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.

Understand Topics and Subtopics

Understand Topics and Subtopics

Topic Sentence: A topic sentence is often the first sentence of a paragraph, and it explicitly states the main focus or idea of the paragraph (e.g., Great White sharks are not the predators they are made out to be). Sometimes in expository pieces a writer will position this kind of sentence as a summarizing final sentence of a paragraph, instead. These sentences bring cohesion to a paragraph and the piece as a whole and help a reader accumulate understanding, section by section.

Best the Test

While not all nonfiction text is written with topic sentences, test questions often ask students to identify topic sentences in excerpts when topic sentences are evident. Providing students with practice identifying topic sentences and ...

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