Literacy gurus Fountas and Pinnell describe the value of writing about reading in their book, Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency by saying, “Students’ written responses to reading provide evidence of their thinking and show they have read and understood a text, but these are not good enough reasons to have students spend their time writing a response. Writing and drawing in response to reading are vehicles for exploring and communicating one’s thinking” (483). This product is specifically designed for middle school teachers to strategically teach students how to write about reading across multiple genres. Once students learn the different genres, the tools put in place to teach the different types of writing can be used across the ENTIRE school year. Writing is something that all students need more practice with, and writing in response to reading builds students’ writing capacities in a way that may not be touched during Writing Workshop. The combination of a strong Writing Workshop model and having writing about reading as part of your weekly Reading Workshop routine will make students grown exponentially as writers and as thinkers.
Each Genre Includes:
-A teacher plan minilesson where the minilesson parts (materials, minilesson statement, modeling, have-a-go, application, share, possible anchor chart) are explicitly written out.
-A presentation of the minilesson where a slide is dedicated to each of the pieces from the minilesson listed above.
-A mentor text written by me to illustrate that specific genre.
-A student response sheet for set up specific to each genre for students to write their reading responses on.
-A grading rubric specific to each genre with grading criteria to evaluate the common elements of each genre.
The Writing about Reading genres that the product includes are:
-Basic Paragraph Response: deep thinking prompts are provided and students learn how to respond to the prompts with a topic sentence, supporting details and textual evidence, and a concluding sentence.
-Diary Entry: students take on the voice and personality of a character in the story to reveal inner thoughts and feelings about other characters and events in the story.
-Letter: students showcase an important relationship in a book by writing a letter detailing events and thoughts on what is happening in the plot from one character to another.
-List and Analysis: students select a topic where multiple pieces of textual evidence can be found in the book to support that topic. Students then analyze the importance of that repetition and what it means for the plot, theme, and/or author’s craft in the story.
-Sketch: students sketch a significant scene and then summarize the scene and analyze why this scene is significant to the plot of the book.
-Mini Research Project: students research the authenticity of a realistic fiction or historical fiction text or ask a question about a topic in the text they would like further information on.
-Poem: students select from a variety of poetry types to capture the feelings of a character, events of the plot, or another element of the text in poetic language.
-Blog Post: students get passionate about a topic a character in the book is passionate about and write a blog post from the perspective of that character.
-Reader’s Theater Script: students extend a scene in the text and bring it to life by creating a Reader’s Theater script with talking parts for each character and a narrator to give details about the setting and characters actions.
The Product Also Includes:
-Directions for exactly how to use the product
-Writing about Reading Paper
-General Writing about Reading Rubric to use across all genres if you choose to not use the rubrics specific to each genre.
-Peer and Self-Assessments for Writing about Reading
-Voice Volume Chart to use for Minilessons
Enjoy the clear expectations, detailed lessons, and useful mentor texts that this product has to offer to teach reading response. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more writing into your literacy classroom, look no further! This product was made to make your life easier starting now!