Common Core Writing to Texts

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"Writing to texts" might sound new because it's usually attached to the words "Common Core." But if you take time to read what is being taught and what writing is being assigned, you'll come to realize that these are valuable skills not all that different from other strong reading/writing courses. The idea is that the student reads and then interacts with various types of text sometimes informational; sometimes narrative. Writing assignments are carefully structured and integrated with the reading assignments in a meaningful way. In each grade level book are six mini-lessons two for argument writing, two for information/explanatory writing, and two for narrative writing. Each of these lessons consists of reading texts often more than one text. After reading the passages, there is a guided discussion usually involving a graphic organizer which might ask for main points, evidence, reasons, or details. Use of these graphic organizers helps to plan the student's writing. Assignments might only be the opportunity to read and analyze the prompt but might also lead the student into an actual writing assignment. Each mini-lesson includes a student example of a writing prompt response which your student is then asked to critique (compare with a checklist to see how well the prompt was answered). The mini-lessons are designed to give your student exposure and experience with a variety of types of textual content as well as a variety of writing prompt assignments. Following the mini-lessons are twenty practice texts with writing prompt assignments. There's a wide variety of types of writing in these texts, ranging from historical fiction and folktales to science texts and biographies. Each of these practice prompts includes text passages with three types of prompts (argument, informative/explanatory, narrative). A variety of reproducible graphic organizer masters are included in the back of the book along with checklists for each of the types of writing (also reproducible). The format for these books is the same regardless of grade level but, of course, both the reading passages and the writing expectations are grade appropriate. The wide variety of textual content opens the door to topics some might wish to avoid but my spot checking was reassuring. I noticed historical anecdotes, biographies, well-known literature such as Aesop's fables, narrative stories that emphasized moral values (honesty, doing well in school) and poetry. The workbook format of this program, along with the step-by-step nature of the instruction and the quantity of practice options means this could be an effective writing program regardless of whether or not you are trying to conform to CCSS. Answers are provided. 136 pgs, pb. ~ Janice

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Common Core Writing to Texts - Grade 4 Item #: 058611
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