Writing About Reading: From Book Talk to Literary Essays, Grades 3-8 / Edition 1

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Janet Angelillo introduces us to an entirely new way of thinking about writing about reading. She shows us how to teach students to manage all the thinking and questioning that precedes their putting pen to paper. More than that, she offers us smarter ways to have students write about their reading that can last them a lifetime. She demonstrates how students' responses to reading can

  • start in a notebook, in conversation, or in a read aloud
  • lead to thinking guided by literary criticism
  • reflect deeper text analysis and honest writing processes
  • result in a variety of popular genres--book reviews, author profiles, commentaries, editorials, and the literary essay.
She even includes tools for teaching-day-by-day units of study, teaching points, a sample minilesson, and lots of student examples-plus chapters on yearlong planning and assessment.

Ensure that your students will be readers and writers long after they leave you. Get them enthused and empowered to use whatever they read-facts, statistics, the latest book--as fuel for writing in school and in their working lives. Read Angelillo.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Want to know how to teach students to think and write powerfully about texts? Read this remarkable book now. You'll be glad you did.”–Carl Anderson, author of How's It Going?

“What sets Writing About Reading apart is that Janet Angelillo shows us how to move children beyond the rich conversations and unpolished writing they do to capture their thinking, and into clear, articulate writing about their thinking about reading.”–Katie Wood Ray, author of What You Know by Heart

“This must-have book will enable teachers to develop their students' ability to use authentic writing tasks to deepen what they know and understand about their reading.”–Laura Robb, author of Literacy Links and Redefining Staff Development

Inspired by her seventh graders' interest in real-world writing, Angelillo strikes an excellent balance of theory and application in her rationale for and illustrations of a practical writing program that will engage students well above the eighth-grade level and prepare them for a full range of writing tasks, including standardized tests. Chapters one through four emphasize read-alouds, discussion, and note-taking skills for producing directed and developed reader responses culminating in substantial, coherent writing. She also suggests methods for developing a reading history, employing allusions, identifying archetypes, and using literary language. The next chapter explores genres of writing about reading (author profile or interview, advertisement) and presents a specific, extensive process for writing book reviews that applies to any written form at any level. Chapter six focuses on the more challenging literary essay, and seven discusses the transfer to nonfiction. The final chapter provides sample rubrics for discussion, notes, writing process, and book reviews. With realistic goals for reading and authentic writing tasks, Angelillo, who is affiliated with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, helps both student and teacher develop a writer's perception and problem-solving skills that produce love for reading and confidence in writing. Throw out the glitzy projects, book reports, and the formula five-paragraph essay. Let Angelillo help teachers and students form a supportive community of readers, writers, and thinkers. 2003, Heinemann, 160p.; Charts. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading.Ages adult professional.
—Lucy Schall
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325005782
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 8/13/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition, Grades 3-8
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,433,938
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Angelillo is the author of the Heinemann titles Whole-Class Teaching (2008), Writing to the Prompt (2005), and Writing About Reading (2003). She also wrote A Fresh Approach to Teaching Punctuation (2002) and Making Revision Matter (2005). A middle and upper grades classroom teacher for years, Janet is a literacy consultant who has worked throughout the U.S. and Canada. She was a senior staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and worked beside teachers in New York city schools. Janet has taught advanced sections and given keynote addresses at the Teachers College Summer Institutes and other institutes around the country. She has also presented at many conferences, including NCTE, IRA, and the New York State, Connecticut, and Delaware Reading Associations.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 You Have to Have an Idea 1
Ch. 2 Thinking and Talking About Texts in Read-Aloud and Partnership Conversations 18
Ch. 3 Literary Thinking Across Texts 31
Ch. 4 Using a Readers Notebook and Making Plans for Longer Writing 46
Ch. 5 Genres of Writing About Reading 60
Ch. 6 The Literary Essay 80
Ch. 7 Writing About Reading in the Content Areas 100
Ch. 8 Assessment: Evaluating the Work of Writing About Reading 123
Conclusion: Final Thoughts: Changing Students as Readers Forever 140
Bibliography 143
List of Recommended Children's Books 147
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