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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Improve Students’ Writing Using Online Workshops
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||At least three 60-minute sessions|
The unconventional problem-solving suggestions in Cooper Edens' book If You're Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow seem to invite creative responses. While listening to a read-aloud of the book, students use reading logs to record their reactions. The text structure and illustrations in the book serve as a springboard for discussing similar emotions students may have experienced. Students develop their own if statements modeled on the text, and submit drafts of what they have written to online writing groups for peer review. Using free online tools, students discuss and respond to each other's work, focusing on creativity and expression. They then revise and illustrate their statements for a class book.
- If You're Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow by Cooper Edens (Chronicle, 1979)
Morretta, T.M., & Ambrosini, M. (2000). Practical approaches for teaching reading and writing in middle schools. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
In chapter 4, "Writing for Readers" (pp. 40–59), the authors say that "the dynamics of a middle school reading and writing classroom and the goal of developing lifelong writers are best managed by a teacher who provides choices, challenges, and opportunities for students to read, to write, and to discuss."¯ One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging students to review, comment, and assist each other while also preparing them for other audiences to view and read their work.
Olson, C.B. (2003). The reading/writing connection: Strategies for teaching and learning in the secondary classroom. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
"Learning Log Reflections... invite readers to take a step back and ponder what has been learned, thus providing teachers the opportunities to engage in the same cognitive strategies that readers and writers use when they compose."