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We celebrate teachers who have created their own websites about teaching writing:


Corbett's
Always Write
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(Grades K-12)



Jodie's
Start to Learn
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(Primary Grades)



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Making Mathematicians
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(Grades K-12)



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Learning is Messy
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(Grades 4-6)



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Write in the Middle
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(Grades 6-8)

WritingFix Project: Author Studies
studying authors' craft with your students and colleagues

When we run our lesson-design workshops for the teachers of Northern Nevada, two types of "author studies" are discussed.

The first type of author study discussion that always seems to happen when teachers get together to learn is the type that centers on popular authors that our students love to read. When we ask our teacher-participants to propose a writing lesson inspired by a book from their classroom library, we often hear the same authors' names come up over and over again: Christopher Paul Curtis, Sharon Creech, Cynthia Rylant...just to name a few.

The second type of author study discussion that always happens during our workshops stems from this question: "Who are the authors of books for teachers that you love to use when planning writing instruction?" We enjoy listening to the passionate voices of teachers as they talk about the valuable lessons learned from writers who write for writing teachers.

On this page at WritingFix, we are celebrating both types of author studies. Below, in the column on the left, you will find author studies to share with your students; two or more writing lessons are linked to different books by the same author. The right-hand column contains author studies for groups of teachers; if you are working with other teachers (or on your own) to become even better writing teachers, you will find links to our favorite books by authors who smartly and competently address skills and strategies for the classroom.

New authors come onto the scene all the time. If you know of an author you think we may interested in featuring here at WritingFix, send us his/her name at webmaster@writingfix.com.

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Picture Book Author Studies for Student Writers:

Author Studies for Teacher Study Groups:

A WritingFix Author Study: Dav Pilkey

Lesson #1: Silly Animal Problems, inspired by Pilkey's picture book Dog Breath. Students create an original and organized tale about an animal with an unusual problem. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.

A WritingFix Author Study: Ruth Culham

Just beginning with 6 traits? Ruth's materials are perfect for building a strong foundation. Our favorite books/resources by Ruth (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Visit Ruth's website by clicking here.

Lesson #2: A Scientific Mishap, inspired by Pilkey's picture book Dogzilla. Students create an original and organized tale about the creation of a "monster" in a scientific lab accident. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.


A WritingFix Author Study: Margie Palatini

Lesson #1: Just the Facts, Ma'am, inspired by Palatini's picture book The Web Files. Students create a mystery scene with a no nonsense-sounding detective as narrator. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.

A WritingFix Author Study: Barry Lane

Interested in the writing process or to the idea of making writing instruction more fun for you and your students? Barry is your guy! Our favorite books/resources by Barry (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Visit Barry's website by clicking here.

Lesson #2: The Sibling Report, inspired by Palatini's picture book Tub-boo-boo. Students create an original story about a sibling and a funny household accident, narrating the tale with the voice of a news-reporter. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.


A WritingFix Author Study: Mem Fox

Lesson #1: Perspective Paragraphs, inspired by Fox's Tough Boris. Students create descriptive paragraph about Tough Boris from the perspective of the book's stow-away; then, they create an original perspective paragraph about a character they think up themselves.

A WritingFix Author Study: Vicki Spandel

Already have a solid foundation with the 6 traits? Vicki's wonderful work takes you to a smarter place. Our favorite books by Vicki (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Lesson #2: Four Metaphor Poems, inspired by Fox's Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. Students choose a self-important topic (friendship, family, dreams, etc.), then create four metaphors for that topic. Brainstorming details and explanations about each metaphor will help students create a four-part poem that explores their topic poetically.



A WritingFix Author Study: Doreen Cronin

Lesson #1: Unusual Diary Keepers, inspired by Cronin's picture book Diary of a Worm. Students create an imaginary (and unlikely) diary for an animal or for an abstract idea they are studying in class. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.

A WritingFix Author Study: Ralph Fletcher

Ralph writes books that inspire both teachers and their students. Our favorite books/resources by Ralph (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Visit Ralph's website by clicking here.

Lesson #2: Creative Convincing, inspired by Cronin's picture book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type. Students review the format of the friendly letter format while trying out new persuasive techniques as they assume the role of something (like a cow) that wants something from a human being. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.


A WritingFix Author Study: David Shannon

Lesson #1: A Pet's Adventure Story, inspired by Shannon's picture book Good Boy, Fergus! Students create an original adventure story involving a pet and that uses emotion and interjections, just as Shannon does in Fergus' story. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.

A WritingFix Author Study: Katie Wood Ray

Katie is our favorite resource for teachers who are building skill-based lessons for a writers workshop type of environment. Our favorite books/resources by Katie (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Visit Katie's website by clicking here.

Lesson #2: Interjected Emotions!, inspired by Shannon's picture book No, David! Students create a story about an exciting happening at recess or at a sporting event, interjecting emotions into the story and using direct addresses correctly. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.

Chapter Book Author Studies for Student Writers:


A WritingFix Author Study: Jerry Spinelli

Lesson #1: Counting Up/Down Stories, inspired by Spinelli's Wringer. Students create a "slow-motion story" based on a situation where people are counting up or down out loud. In between the counted numbers, students share interesting details for the reader. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.

A WritingFix Author Study: Laura Robb

Linking reading and writing instruction? Laura Robb is our favorite expert! Our favorite books/resources by Laura (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Visit Laura's website by clicking here.

Lesson #2: Memories that Inspire a Memory Like This, inspired by Spinelli's Milkweed. Students create a memoir about their immediate or distant pasts, using word choice techniques they've discussed in Spinelli's amazing first chapter of this book. Click on the title or the book cover to access the lesson and all its resources.



A WritingFix Author Study: John Steinbeck

Lesson #1: Painting Pictures with Words, inspired by the opening paragraph of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Students imitate Steinbeck's sentence fluency techniques as they craft a setting description. This lesson is based on an excerpt from the mentor text, and it is not necessary for students to read the entire novel in order to benefit from it.

A WritingFix Author Study: Linda Rief

Looking for ways to inspire heart-felt writing, especially from upper elementary and middle school students? Go no further than Linda Rief. Our favorite books/resources by Linda (hover over each title to find out how to order these excellent teacher resources):

Lesson #2: A Monster of a Metaphor, inspired by chapter 5 of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Students craft a metaphor, then extend upon it, using craft techniques they will discuss from Steinbeck's powerful fifth chapter. This lesson is based on excerpts from the mentor text, and it is not necessary for students to read the entire novel in order to benefit from it.


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Please, share the resources you find on these pages freely with fellow educators, but please leave any page citations on handouts intact, and please give authorship credit to the cited teachers who created these wonderful lessons and resources. Thanks in advance for honoring other educators' intellectual property.

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