From the Back Cover
Craft is the cauldron in which the writing gets forged.
Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi argue that too often we concentrate on the beginning and ending of the writing process - conceiving and correcting - while leaving students on their own to make a thousand critical decisions in their writing about crafting leads, voice, structure, supporting detail, setting, mood, and character.
What elements of craft can we teach student writers, and at what age are they ready to learn them? This book answers both questions. Craft Lessons is the practical text for the over-scheduled writing teacher who wants to give students fresh challenges for their writing but doesn't have time to pore over dozens of trade books to do so.
There are three main sections in the book: one geared for teachers of primary students, one for teachers of grades 3-4, and one for teachers of middle school writers. This developmental structure allows teachers to go directly to those craft lessons most applicable and adaptable to their own students. Each of the 78 lessons is presented on a single page in an easy-to-read format. And every lesson features three teaching guidelines:
- Discussion - A brief look at the reasons for teaching the particular element of craft.
- How to Teach It - Concrete language showing exactly how a teacher might bring this craft element to students in individual writing conferences or a small-group setting.
- Resource Material - A listing of the book or text referred to in the craft lesson plus additional texts you can use and references to a passage, a poem, or a piece of student writing in the Appendixes.
Craft Lessons also explores the context - the crucial classroom conditions - for successfully bringing rich ideas to young writers. It will appeal to both experienced writing teachers seeking new horizons for their writers and teachers who are relatively new to teaching writing.
About the Author
Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi are nationally known figures in the teaching of writing. For fifteen years they have worked in classrooms from New York City to Hilo, Hawaii, hleping teachers find better ways to teach writing to children. They share a common passion, but their journeys began in different places. JoAnn taught elementary school and later became one of the first staff developers at the Teachers College Writing Project. Ralph started as a professional writer. Today JoAnn teaches in the School of Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ralph is a popular children's book author and consultant who travels widely throughout North America speaking at conferences and workshops.