Writing for Understanding: Strategies to Increase Content Learning

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $20.14
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 30%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $20.14   
  • New (7) from $26.72   
  • Used (4) from $20.14   


Develop effective writing assignments to boost student achievement in the content areas!

You don't have to be a writing instructor or English teacher to use writing in the classroom. Writing for Understanding focuses on using writing as an essential instructional tool to deepen and expand student understanding in the content areas. Written specifically for non–language arts teachers, this book debunks myths about using writing in the classroom and offers practical approaches for the upper elementary grades through high school.

Writing activates higher-level thinking skills and engages students in concepts and content. Through sample writing prompts and classroom dialogues, Donovan R. Walling shows you how to create writing lessons that:

  • Guide students in using narrative, descriptive, expository, persuasive, and argumentative writing
  • Are adaptable to various subjects and disciplines
  • Require students to process content using critical thinking skills

This valuable resource helps teachers in any subject incorporate writing as a tool of effective instruction.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Marlin L. Tanck
"Because the writing process requires students to use and process content, it helps them understand what they are learning. Walling's book provides practical and powerful ways to use writing as a learning tool in a wide variety of subject areas."
Bruce M. Smith
"This carefully researched book guides teachers of all disciplines through the uses of narrative, description, exposition, persuasion, and argument in pursuit of student learning. Through ample illustrations of interactive classroom dialogues and sample writing assignments, Walling introduces readers to a wide variety of ways to use writing to support learning in classes that range from mathematics and science to art and physical education. Even though having students write as a way of learning is not about 'correctness,' Walling offers reassuring chapters on grammar and usage, and his annotated bibliography of resources from across the curriculum is not to be missed."
Carol Conway-Gerhardt
"Through student writing samples and classroom dialogues, Walling demonstrates how all content teachers can use various writing modes to enrich students' content knowledge to the level of innovation and greater clarity. "
Wayne Homstad
"Walling provides all classroom teachers with the tools to use writing as a catalyst to learning. All classroom teachers, including English teachers, will find this book useful because it not only discusses how to set up writing assignments, but also explains how writing complements learning."
Mark S. Strauss
"Walling has created an outstanding book that is easy to read and understand, with valuable tips that will make any teacher a more effective instructor. While we have all read of 'writing across the curriculum areas,' Walling gives us an understanding of what this really means and provides examples that any teacher can modify to expand lessons to a more meaningful level, thus enhancing both writing and critical thinking skills in students."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412964357
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 129
  • Sales rank: 963,652
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Donovan R. Walling is a writer, editor, educator, and consultant. He serves as a senior consultant for the Center for Civic Education. He has taught art, English, and journalism in the United States and abroad and has worked as a curriculum administrator in public school districts in Wisconsin and Indiana. From 1993 until 2006 he was director of publications for the education association Phi Delta Kappa International.

Walling is the author or editor of more than a dozen professional books for educators and numerous articles and other publications. He is nationally recognized in the field of art education, where some of his publications include Under Construction: The Role of the Arts and Humanities in Postmodern Schooling (Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1997); the Corwin Press books, Rethinking How Art Is Taught: A Critical Convergence (2000) and Visual Knowing: Connecting Art and Ideas Across the Curriculum (2005); the core chapter on visual and performing arts for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Curriculum Handbook (2002), and the “Art in the Schools” entry for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Education (2003).

Walling’s recent books include Public Education, Democracy, and the Common Good (Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 2004) and Teaching Writing to Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learners (Corwin Press, 2006).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: How Can I Teach Writing If I'm Not a Writing Teacher?
1. How Writing Increases Understanding
Debunking Myths and Misconceptions
Alternatives to Bloom
Five Research-Based "Truths" About Writing
Developing Effective Writing Questions and Prompts
Daily Writing
Some Thoughts on Taking Notes
2. Developing Narrative Writing Assignments
What Is Narrative Writing?
Types of Narrative Writing
Using Narrative Writing
Class Dialogue
Using Narrative Writing to Build Content Vocabulary
Sample Narrataive Writing Questions and Prompts
3. Developing Descriptive Writing Assignments
What Is Descriptive Writing?
Using Descriptive Writing
Sensory Details
Describing Processes
Class Dialogue
Translating Mathematics
Giving Directions
Sample Descriptive Writing Questions and Prompts
4. Developing Expository Writing Assignments
What Is Expository Writing?
Using Expository Writing
Class Dialogue
Writing Prompts That Require Cause-and-Effect Reasoning
Sample Expository Writing Questions and Prompts
5. Developing Persuasive Writing Assignments
What Is Persuasive Writing?
Using Persuasive Writing
Class Dialogue
Persuasion and the Basics of Logic
Sample Persuasive Writing Questions and Prompts
6. Developing Argumentative Writing Assignments
What Is Argumentative Writing?
Using Argumentative Writing
Class Dialogue
Follow-Up Sharing and Discussion
Sample Argumentative Writing Questions and Prompts
7. Using Dialogues About Writing to Build Meaning
A Basis in Socratic Questioning
Developing and Using Class Dialogues
Developing and Using Student Dialogues
Making and Using Rubrics
8. Internet-Writing Connections and Resources
Using E-Speak to Encourage Writing
Online Resources Can Help Students and Teachers
Websites for Students
Websites for Teachers
9. Frequently Asked Questions About Writing
Language Alive
10. Print Resources

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)