Write Better Stories and Essays: Topics and Techniques to Improve Writing Skills for Students in Grades 6 - 8: Common Core State Standards Aligned


Mr. George Smith, a children's book author, has been conducting writing workshops at schools since 2004.
Write Better Stories and Essays is his writing workshop ...

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Mr. George Smith, a children's book author, has been conducting writing workshops at schools since 2004.
Write Better Stories and Essays is his writing workshop published in the form of a workbook. It is designed to help students in middle school improve their writing skills.

Key Benefits

  • Explore different writing techniques
  • Recognize common mistakes in writing
  • Master creative techniques to improve writing
  • Expand ideas into full length stories or essays

Key Topics Covered

  • Four Ways to Expand a Story Idea into a Story
  • Creative Techniques for Using Words and Paragraphs
  • Identifying Illogical or Incomplete Content, Inconsistent Voice (active or passive), Inconsistent Verb Tense (present and past) and Incorrect grammar
  • Expressing the Emotions of a Character: Show, Don't Tell!!
  • Using the Personification Technique
  • Using the Flashback and Story Within a Story Techniques
  • Using the Circular Text Technique
  • Using the Five Senses
  • Using the Persuasion Technique
  • The Role of the Setting in a Story
  • Presenting and Supporting Theories
  • Techniques in Action: Stories and Essays Written by Middle School
  • Detailed Answers
  • Common Core State Standards Correlation
  • Grading Rubrics
  • Online Resources (QuillPad.org)


The workbook has three objectives:

The first objective of these workbook exercises is to give student authors practice in writing techniques that meet the standards for writing and language included in the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI).

The second objective of these workbook exercises is to provide tools in the form of techniques that middle school student authors in grades 6 through 8 can use to improve the content of their narrative, persuasive, expository and descriptive writing.

The third objective of this program is to create a platform for students to easily publish their writing online and get feedback from peers and educators. Writing is a skill that requires practice and mentoring. Children can become good writers through guided practice and constructive feedback. Please visit QuillPad.org to create an account and start publishing your stories and essays!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781479142576
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/1/2012
  • Pages: 132
  • Sales rank: 502,630
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

George Smith, a children's book author and publisher, has been conducting writing workshops at schools since 2004.
He is passionate about helping young writers turntheir creative story ideas to captivating stories that others would enjoyreading.
He has authored two children's books, a marine life guide book for science teachers and functioned as an editorfor several publications.
He lives in Lakewood, New Jersey and loves to travel.
Please visit quillpad.org or LumosLearning.com to learn more.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2013

    The nice thing about the Common Core Standards is that everyone

    The nice thing about the Common Core Standards is that everyone can use them. Oh, did I say "can"? I mean "will" because they are here--whether you are ready for them or not. After all, isn't that the essence of "common core"?

    I found that this particular book would make a nice addition to your teacher tool kit. Some highlights of the book are:

    1. The practical writing practice for both fiction and nonfiction pieces. There are several story starters included to allow students the opportunity to practice using different literary elements.

    2. The practice activities for identifying illogical or incomplete content (in a passage), grammar skills, and inconsistent verb tense and voice. Which, any ELA teacher knows is extremely hard for middle school students to master. There are also lessons on eliminating over used words and properly using personification. As a bonus, there are multiple opportunities for practice with each skill, so you are not left scrounging around for remediation/enrichment activities.

    3. All of the writing exercises are practical and well grounded in the ELA curriculum. There are pages of student essays that will allow your students hands-on editing practice. I personally love the "show what you know" lessons that let kids practice the skills they have been learning. I seem to get great insight into what my students have learned (and they develop a deeper understanding) when they have the chance to critique their peer's work.

    4. There is also an online resource to further enhance instruction. As a bonus. there is a platform that allows (and encourages) students to publish their work. Can you imagine how great your students will feel about publishing their work and getting feedback from other students around the country?

    There is also a very detailed answer key included for all of the practice activities that helps to break down the skills. Even novice teachers can use this book to enhance their teaching without the fear of not being able to answer student questions.

    The index of CCSS standards-- and the corresponding page numbers for the activities in the book-- make this a very easy reference tool. No need to flip through every page looking for one particular skill. You can quickly find what you are looking for, and save your precious time for teaching.

    LumasLearning's Write Better Stories and Essays is a great tool for any ELA and writing teacher.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2013

    Write Better Stories and Essays: - This book is extremely helpf

    Write Better Stories and Essays:
    - This book is extremely helpful for students and parents. This book gives an understanding of Common
    Core State Standards for the students. It teaches writing techniques that meets Common Core

    - I really like introducing the step-by-step process of expanding a story idea into a story. Each chapter is
    written in a workshop format and it gives student an opportunity to learn and practice all elements of
    creative writing.

    - Each chapter has several exercises that teach creative writing and help to build writing skills for the
    students of various levels (from beginners to advanced)

    - The book contain the writing samples of middle school age students. The readers get a chance to
    review, analyze and comment these samples. In addition, the authors provide their comments to the
    same samples to demonstrate their strengths and weaknesses. Such exercises are very helpful in
    building your own writing skills.

    The whole book not only explores various writing techniques, reviews the most common writers'
    mistakes but also helps to build strong writing skills for middle-school age students.

    This book was extremely helpful for my daughter and it helps myself to better understand Common

    Core Standards and its application to writing exercises

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    I like the workshop format used in this book. It allows students

    I like the workshop format used in this book. It allows students to quickly apply writing techniques  into their own stories or essays. It is also a useful teaching tool. The CCSS correlations are quite useful for the teachers and curriculum experts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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