Books and Articles of Interest


Anderson, J. (2011). Ten Things Every Writer Needs to Know. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

In 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, Jeff Anderson focuses on developing the concepts and application of ten essential aspects of good writing—motion, models, focus, detail, form, frames, cohesion, energy, words, and clutter. Throughout the book, Anderson provides mentor texts, mini-lessons, models, writing process strategies, and classroom tips.

Anderson, J. (2005). Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

Comprising an overview of the research-based context for grammar instruction, a series of over thirty detailed lessons, and an appendix of helpful forms and instructional tools, Mechanically Inclined is a boon to teachers regardless of their level of grammar-phobia. It shifts the negative, rule-plagued emphasis of much grammar instruction into one which celebrates the power and beauty these tools have in shaping all forms of writing.

Bean, John. (2011). Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom.

Learn to design interest-provoking writing and critical thinking activities and incorporate them into your courses in a way that encourages inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate, with Engaging Ideas, a practical nuts-and-bolts guide for teachers from any discipline. Integrating critical thinking with writing-across-the-curriculum approaches, the book shows how teachers from any discipline can incorporate these activities into their courses.

Bernabei, G. (2013). Fun-size Academic Writing for Serious Learning : 101 Lessons & Mentor Texts, Narrative, Opinion/Argument, & Informative/Explanatory, Grades 4-9. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Literacy.

This book pairs 101 student essays with one page lessons. Topics include: choose a structure across genres, extract thesis statement and main point, support points with details, use rhetorical devices and grammatical constructions, and write from the point of view of a fictional character.

Baines, L., & Kunkel, A. J. (2010). Going Bohemian: How to Teach Writing Like You Mean It. International Reading Association.

Go Bohemian! And instill in your students high literacy standards, an artistic sensibility, and an unshakable belief in the power of words-leading them, ultimately, to increased success. Bohemian writing lessons rely on unconventional strategies, art and multimedia, competitive games, and indirect approaches to teach some of the difficult lessons of writing.

Burke, Jim. (2002). Tools for Thought. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

This book is filled with dozens of graphic organizers and a hundred ways to use them! Jim Burke provides tools to spark student thinking that are both intriguing and precise-and applicable to grades 6 to 12 in all subject areas.

Elbow, Peter. (2000). Everyone Can Write. New York: Oxford University Press.

This book is a compilation of Peter Elbow’s work providing sections on voice, the experience of writing, teaching, and evaluation.

Fu, Danling. (2009). Writing Between Languages: How English Language Learners Make the Transition to Fluency. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman.

The basis of this book is built off of Fu’s beliefs that by beginning with the literacy knowledge students bring from their native language and putting writing at the center of the curriculum, we can help them make a smoother transition to English while we support their academic literacy.

Lehman, C. & Roberts, K. (2013.) Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts–and Life. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman.

In their book, Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts show us that it can be rigorous, meaningful, and joyous. You’ll empower students to not only analyze texts but to admire the craft of a beloved book, study favorite songs and video games, and challenge peers in evidence-based discussions.

National Writing Project, & Nagin, C. (2006). Because Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in our Schools. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass.


Buckner, A. (2005). Notebook Know-How: Strategies for the Writer’s Notebook. Portland, MN: Stenhouse.

Aimee Buckner provides the tools teachers need to make writers’ notebooks an integral part of their writing programs. She also addresses many of the questions teachers ask when they start using notebooks with their students. This book is full of lessons, tips, and samples of student writing to help teachers make the most of writers’ notebooks, without sacrificing time needed for the rest of the literacy curriculum.

Dorfman, L. R., & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature, K-6. Portland, MN: Stenhouse.

This practical resource demonstrates the power of learning to read like writers. It shows teachers and students how to discover the ways that authors make writing come alive, and how to use that knowledge to inspire and improve their own writing. The book is organized around the characteristics of good writing—focus, content, organization, style, and conventions. Rose and Lynne write in a friendly and conversational style, employing numerous anecdotes to help teachers visualize the process, and offer strategies that can be immediately implemented in the classroom. Each “Your Turn” lesson is built around the gradual release of responsibility model, offering suggestions for demonstrations and shared or guided writing.

Dorfman, L. R., & Cappelli, R. (2009). Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Teaching Informational Writing Through Children’s Literature, K-8. Portland, MN: Stenhouse.

Lynne and Rose guide teachers through a variety of projects, samples, and classroom anecdotes that demonstrate how teachers can help students become more effective writers of good nonfiction. Teachers will find especially helpful the information on how to select appropriate mentor texts from among the sometimes overwhelming offerings of children’s literature. One of the most valuable features of Nonfiction Mentor Texts is the treasure chest of books organized according to chapter. This list includes every title mentioned in the book, as well as a host of other titles that teachers can use to help students learn about quality nonfiction writing—building content, organizing text, developing voice, enhancing style, using punctuation effectively—and from which students can draw topic ideas.

Ehmann, S., & Gayer, K. (2009). I Can Write Like That!: A Guide to Mentor Texts and Craft Studies for Writers’ Workshop, K-6. International Reading Association.

The heart of this book is an extensive annotated bibliography that details examples of 27 author’s crafts found in 150 high-quality children’s books. But there’s so much more! This book can serve as your go-to writers workshop resource by providing you with:

– A quick reference to turn to when you need to find the right mentor text to teach a specific author’s craft, such as alliteration, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, personification, rhyme, voice, and many more
– Age-appropriate craft studies that fit into your existing curriculum
– Tools to help you match the books you already have in your classroom or school library with the crafts they demonstrate

Ray, K. W., & Cleaveland, L. B. (2004). About the Authors: Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Ray explains step by step how to set up and maintain a primary writing workshop, detailing eleven units of study that cover idea generation, text structures, different genres, and illustrations that work with text. She also draws on data, projects, and the language of teaching used in the classroom of first-grade teacher Lisa Cleaveland. Ray allows readers to “listen in” to Lisa as she helps her young students learn from professional writers, work with intention, and think about their own process.

Middle or High School

Applebee, A. N. (2013). Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms. New York : Teachers College, Columbia University.

Backed by solid research, Writing Instruction That Works answers the following question: What is writing instruction today and what can it be tomorrow? This up-to-date, comprehensive book identifies areas of concern for the ways that writing is being taught in today’s secondary schools. The authors offer far-reaching direction for improving writing instruction that assist both student literacy and subject learning. They provide many examples of successful writing practices in each of the four core academic subjects (English, mathematics, science, and social studies/history), along with guidance for meeting the Common Core standards.

Gallagher, K. (2011). Write Like This: Teaching Real-World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

In Write Like This, Kelly emphasizes real-world writing purposes, the kind of writing he wants his students to be doing twenty years from now. Each chapter focuses on a specific discourse: express and reflect, inform and explain, evaluate and judge, inquire and explore, analyze and interpret, and take a stand/propose a solution. In teaching these lessons, Kelly provides mentor texts (professional samples as well as models he has written in front of his students), student writing samples, and numerous assignments and strategies proven to elevate student writing.

Kittle, P. (2012). Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

In Book Love Penny takes student apathy head on, first by recognizing why students don’t read and then showing us that when we give kids books that are right for them, along with time to read and regular response to their thinking, we can create a pathway to satisfying reading that leads to more challenging literature and ultimately, a love of reading.

Kittle. P. (2008). Write Beside Them: Risk, Voice, and Clarity in High School Writing. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann.

What makes the single biggest difference to student writers? When the invisible machinery of your writing processes is made visible to them. Write Beside Them shows you how to do it. It’s the comprehensive book and DVD that English/language arts teachers need to ensure that teens improve their writing. Across genres, Penny Kittle presents a flexible framework for instruction, the theory and experience to back it up, and detailed teaching information to help you implement it right away. Each section of Write Beside Them describes a specific element of Kittle’s workshop.

Lewis, J. (2009). Essential Questions in Adolescent Literacy: Teachers and Researchers Describe What Works in Classrooms. (Edited by Jill Lewis ; foreword by Elizabeth Birr Moje). New York: Guilford Press.

In each chapter of this unique volume, an exemplary teacher collaborates with a prominent scholar to present real-world strategies for putting literacy research to work in grades 5–12. These lively dialogues tackle key questions in adolescent literacy, including issues of motivation, critical thinking skills, content-area writing, differentiated instruction, assessment, English language learning, and technology. Suggestions for incorporating adolescents’ out-of-school literacies and working with reading specialists and coaches show how to build connections between the classroom and wider communities. In-depth portraits of challenges and successes in the classroom, practical instructional tips, and stimulating questions for reflection make the book a valuable resource for inservice and preservice teachers.

Content Area/Disciplinary Literacy

Applebee, A. N. (2013). Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms. New York : Teachers College, Columbia University.

Backed by solid research, Writing Instruction That Works answers the following question: What is writing instruction today and what can it be tomorrow? This up-to-date, comprehensive book identifies areas of concern for the ways that writing is being taught in today’s secondary schools. The authors offer far-reaching direction for improving writing instruction that assist both student literacy and subject learning. They provide many examples of successful writing practices in each of the four core academic subjects (English, mathematics, science, and social studies/history), along with guidance for meeting the Common Core standards. The text also includes sections on ”Technology and the Teaching of Writing” and ”English Language Learners.”

Daniels, H., & Zemelman, S. (2014). Subjects Matter: Exceeding Standards Through Powerful Content-Area Reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Subjects Matter, Second Edition enables deep, thoughtful learning for your students, while keeping the irreverent, inspiring heart that’s made the first edition indispensable. You’ll discover fresh and re-energized lessons, completely updated research, and vibrant vignettes from new colleagues and old friends who have as much passion for their subjects as you do.

Daniels, H., & Steineke, N. (2011). Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading: With More Than 75 Articles from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Car and Driver, Chicago Tribute, and Many Others. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Today we’re all expected to be “teachers of reading”-no matter what our subjectarea. With Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading, Harvey “Smokey” Daniels and Nancy Steineke support content-area and language-arts teachers alike by pairing more than 75 short, kid-tested reproducible nonfiction texts with 33 simple, ready-to-go lessons that deepen comprehension and support effective collaboration. And we all know that comprehension and collaboration are just what the new Common Core State Standards call for.

Daniels, H., Zemelman, S., & Steineke, N. (2007). Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

With writing, you can help students learn better, retain more, meet content- and skills-based standards, and tackle any test with confidence. No matter what you teach, read Content-Area Writing and discover for yourself that classroom time spent writing is classroom time well spent.

Baines, L. (2014). Project-Based Writing in Science. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Learn about the three levels of writing, from a Level 1 quickwrite to a formal, multi-part, Level 3 research paper. Each writing assignment–narrative, persuasive, and informative–includes a detailed rubric that makes grading easy. Turn your students into scientists who use their knowledge and creativity to solve real-world problems. Each lesson features a step-by-step guide; a summary of recent research; and handouts that are classroom-ready.


Hicks, T. (2013). Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genre. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Written for teachers of writing by a teacher of writing, Crafting Digital Writing is both an introduction for teachers new to digital writing and a menu of ideas for those who are tech-savvy. Troy Hicks explores the questions of how to teach digital writing by examining author’s craft, demonstrating how intentional thinking about author’s craft in digital texts engages students in writing that is grounded in their digital lives.

Hicks, T. (2009). The Digital Writing Workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hicks shows you how to use new technologies to enhance the teaching of writing you already do. Chapters are organized around the familiar principles of the writing workshop: student choice, active revision, studying author’s craft, publication beyond the classroom, and assessment of both product and process. In each chapter you’ll learn how to expand and improve your teaching by smartly incorporating new technologies like wikis, blogs, and other forms of multimedia. Throughout, you’ll find reference to resources readily available to you and your class online. He also includes a practical set of lessons for how to use wikis to explore a key concept in digital writing: copyright.

Stephens, L., & Ballast, K. (2011). Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Looking to capture the attention of adolescents’ in the classroom? In Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing, Stephens and Ballast guide teachers in successfully implementing technology for writing across the curriculum while helping adolescents’ develop life-long writing skills. Outlined are four frames of writing: inside, responsive, purposeful,  and social action. The student-centered, inquiry-based model connects real-world online writing with content area standards in reading and writing to help teachers teach every student to write in- and out- of school!

National Writing Project, DeBoss, D. H., Eidman-Aadahl, E., & Hicks, T. (2010). Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

How to apply digital writing skills effectively in the classroom, from the prestigious National Writing Project As many teachers know, students may be adept at text messaging and communicating online but do not know how to craft a basic essay. In the classroom, students are increasingly required to create web-based or multi-media productions that also include writing. Since writing in and for the online realm often defies standard writing conventions, this book defines digital writing and examines how best to integrate new technologies into writing instruction. Shows how to integrate new technologies into classroom lessons Addresses the proliferation of writing in the digital age Offers a guide for improving students’ online writing skills The book is an important manual for understanding this new frontier of writing for teachers, school leaders, university faculty, and teacher educators.