Pub. Date:
Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Write For Insight: Empowering Content Learning, Grades 6-12 / Edition 1

Write For Insight: Empowering Content Learning, Grades 6-12 / Edition 1

by William J. Strong


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Write For Insight: Empowering Content Learning, Grades 6-12 / Edition 1

Middle and high school writing is not pointless! From one of the most respected writing professors in America, this book combines the insight — affective-- for writing with writing as a learning tool in all content areas.

Prompted by the “near-total neglect of writing” in content areas outside English, Bill Strong explores and answers the question ‘why writing matters.’ At a time when more emphasis is being placed on middle and secondary students and when writing tests have been added to the new ACT and SAT assessments, Write for Insight is ideal for teachers seeking a flexible and inspiring way to increase students’ motivation and to enhance long-term learning. Arguing that writing is a powerful learning tool in all content areas, Strong utilizes note-taking, drawing, summarizing, brainstorming, and metaphor-building to help students collect notes, plan future action, frame questions, monitor their own learning, and engage in a rich array of imaginative and cognitive tasks. Written by a masterful teacher for teachers, the friendly, thought-provoking style is appropriate for teachers in diverse disciplines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780205412839
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Publication date: 07/29/2005
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.98(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

William Strong has worked in middle school and high school literacy instruction for four decades. Besides presenting hundreds of workshops and many conference talks, he has authored a dozen books and teacher resources, including Coaching Writing: The Power of Guided Practice (Heinemann, 2001). Bill was the consulting author in composition for the Writer's Choice textbooks (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001) and the series consultant for English Matters! (Grolier, 2000), and he served for ten years on the National Writing Project Advisory Board. In addition, Bill founded the Utah Writing Project at Utah State University and directed it for twenty-five years while also teaching courses in content area literacy, English education, and writing. Both his teaching and research have received college-level awards, and he has been honored by professional groups for his statewide leadership in pre-service and in-service teacher education. He enjoys downhill skiing, motorcycle touring, and working with school districts and National Writing Project sites. Readers can contact the author at

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Sterling,

Executive Director, National Writing Project.

An Introduction to Insight.

First Impressions.

Work and Play.

Learning Together.

Why Writing Matters.

What Assessments Reveal.

Writing on the Home Front.

Mapping the Terrain.

Listening to Students.


Write for Insight Activity.

1. Writing from the Inside Out.

Remembered Writing.

Narration as Knowledge.

Sharing Our Stories.

Prompting Narrative.

Literacy Autobiographies.

Reflecting on Narrative.

Content Area Examples.

Narrative Insights.

Write for Insight Activity.

2. Challenging the Hidden Curriculum.

Teacher as Writer.

Resistance to Writing.

The Hidden Curriculum of Writing.

Roots of the Hidden Curriculum.

Writing Without Grades.

Note-Taking and Note-Making.

Resisting the Hidden Curriculum.

Writing-to-Learn Samples.

Thinking Outside the Box.

Write for Insight Activity.

3. Exploring Expressive Writing.

A Mostly True Story.

The Importance of Play.

Opening Expressive Windows.

Guided Imagery.

Dramatic Scenarios (Cases).


Dialogue Writing.

A Reader/Writer Dialogue.

Write for Insight Activity.

4. Helping Basic Writers Succeed.

A Bridge to Literacy.

Back to Human Basics.

Basics of Good Teaching.

Teaching Basics Strategically.

Developing Transcribing Skill.

Using Content-Based Dictation.

Summarizing and Paraphrasing.

Sentence Combining Basics.

Workshop-Style Teaching.

Write for Insight Activity.

5. Tapping the Power of Metaphor.

Valentine’s Day.

The Power of Metaphor.

Exercising Metaphor.

More about Metaphor.

Using Semantic Charts.

Using Pattern Poems.

Extended Metaphors in Prose.

Extended Metaphors of Teaching.

Write for Insight Activity.

6. Designing Assignments and Rubrics.

Darth Vader in Action.

Assignments by Design.

Ten Design Principles.

Context + RAFT = CRAFT.

Case Study of an Assignment .

Content Area Writing Tasks.

Darth Vader Revisited.

Write for Insight Activity.

7. Managing the Writing Process.

Coaching Writing.

Visualizing Writing Process.

Understanding the Model.

Training Response Groups.

Guiding Response Groups.

Prompting Self-Assessment.

Bumps in Process Teaching.

Managing Collaborative Writing.

Write for Insight Activity.

8. Coaching and Judging Writing.

Responding to Writing.

Thinking about Assessment.

Coaching Versus Judging.

Getting Ready to Coach.

Up-Front Coaching.

Coaching as Response.

Audiotape Coaching.

Getting Ready to Judge.

Judging Portfolios.

Coaching as a Lifetime Sport.

Write for Insight Activity.

9. Researching Outside the Box.

A Research Story.

Personalized Research.

The Saturation Report.

A Student Saturation Report.

The I-Search Paper.

Multigenre Research Project.

Challenging Advanced Students.

Traditional Guided Research.

The Problem of Fakery.

Write for Insight Activity.

10. Writing as a Means to Meaning.

Visible Despair.

Talk Versus Writing.

Inside Writing Process.

Reflecting on Writing.

Understanding Composing.

Writing Self, Reading Self.

Teaching with Insight.

The Flow of Insight.

Write for Insight Activity

Appendix A: Literacy Autobiography Case Study.

Appendix B: Nine Graphic Organizers.

Appendix C: Bob Tierney’s Trigger Words for Concept Teaching.

Appendix D: Content Area Writing Assignments.


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