Cracking Open the Author's Craft: Teaching the Art of Writing

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Award-winning children's author and acclaimed educator Lester Laminack invites you and your students to join him as he peels back the layers of his picture book Saturdays and Teacakes to make the writing moves visible. With Lester as guide on the enclosed DVD, your young writers will observe and explore what he did, how he did it, and why he did it that way. As Lester demonstrates how to read with a writer's eyes and ears, your students will gain increasing control over their own narrative writing.

Lester provides you with multiple tools. You'll find 14 ready-to-use mini-lessons to introduce your students to techniques and literary elements. Carefully selected anchor texts provide inspiration for exploring each technique and element. In addition, a professional workshop to use on your own or with colleagues will deepen your own knowledge base. This "workshop-in-a-book," also perfect for literacy coaches and teacher leaders, demonstrates how to read like a writer, identify "craft moves," and form theories about why the moves were made.

The DVD features Lester explaining how writers practice audible and visual craft, using Saturdays and Teacakes to illustrate both. The DVD also includes downloadable forms that you can share with your students to explore author's craft and to monitor their evolving understanding. Use the DVD to have Lester talk directly to the class, or use the book to present the lessons yourself. Either method will help you teach your students to develop their own "craft moves," which will enliven and refine their writing.

About the Author:
Lester L. Laminack is Professor Emeritus at Western Carolina University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439919647
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 788,746
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     6
Introduction     9
Who Should Read This Book?     9
Welcome, Readers     13
Toward a Working Definition of Author's Craft     16
Craft According to Lester     16
Audible Craft and Visual Craft     18
Lessons for Leading Writers Forward     20
The Lesson Framework     20
Getting Ready for Craft Study: Reading Like a Writer     22
Audible Craft Lessons From Saturdays and Teacakes     25
Visual Craft Lessons From Saturdays and Teacakes     41
So, Now What? Moving Beyond This Study     56
Craft Study     57
Craft Across Genres and Topics     57
What Do We Hope For?     58
Examining Craft in Student Writing     58
A Workshop to Grow Your Knowledge Base     68
Defining Craft     68
Digging Into Children's Literature     77
Moving From Curriculum to Selection of Books     84
Looking Closely at Student Writing     87
A Closing Word From Lester-A Plea for Common Sense     91
Anchor Texts to Support Audible and Visual Craft Study     93
References     95
Web Links     96
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