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Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Barry Lane Acknowledgments Introduction Part I. Narrative 1. Color It Up 2. Sprinkling Writing With Humor 3. Adding Movement and Sound to Animate a Piece 4. Using Asides 5. Combining Rhetorical Devices: Cataloguing and Repetition 6. Using Literary Characters to Write Fiction 7. Using Specific Language From a Special Setting 8. Using Varied Sentence Openers to Create Rhythm and Flow 9. Using Precise Language to Create Visual Snapshots 10. Using Foreshadowing to Create Mood 11. Building Suspense in a Narrative Through Questions and Answers 12. Using Participles and Participial Phrases 13. Using Variety When Introducing Narrator Thoughts 14. Using Metaphor to Illuminate a Life Lesson 15. Writing Observations 16. Adding Rich Dialogue to a Narrative 17. Writing From the Point of View of a Fictional Character 18. Using Variations of "Said" 19. Using Depth and Detail to "Explode" a Moment 20. Showing How a Character Changes 21. Using Introspection in a Memoir 22. Using Onomatopoeia as an Organizational Device 23. Using a Story to Illustrate a Life Lesson 24. Combining Action and Back-Story 25. Showing Conflicting Feelings in a Personal Narrative 26. Fleshing Out a Kernel Essay With Dialogue 27. Showing How a Character Makes an Important Decision 28. Choosing Vivid Verbs 29. Writing Dialogue With Inner Reactions 30. Using Time Transitions: Flash Forward 31. Using Absolutes as Sentence Fragments 32. Using Time Transitions: Flashbacks 33. Withholding and Revealing Information to Build Suspense 34. Using Anadiplosis to Make a Truism Chain 35. Using Enumeratio to Add Detail 36. Layering Thinking and Dialogue 37. Using Transitions to Develop a Conclusion 38. Weaving Together Text From Different Genres Part II. Informative/Explanatory 39. Sharing Culture Through Special Events 40. Explaining a Historical Context 41. Using Compound Predicates in a Series 42. Analyzing Characters by Writing Letters Between Them 43. Tracking a Changing Thought Process 44. Responding to Literature: Questioning the Author (Part I) 45. Responding to Literature: Questioning the Author (Part II) 46. Conversing With an Imagined Listener 47. Explaining a Concept From the Point of View of a Character 48. Writing About Clues That Reveal a Situation 49. Writing a Letter Using Second-Person Point of View 50. Using Personification to Turn an Abstract Concept Into a Colorful Character 51. Writing a Graphic Book Review 52. Analyzing Literature: Focusing on Character Tension 53. Responding to Literature: Characters Conversing About a Problem 54. Analyzing Literature: Identifying Character Conflicts 55. Analyzing Literature: Noticing an Author's Choices 56. Recognizing and Illustrating an Important Theme 57. Analyzing the Rhetorical Effects of Poetic Devices 58. Analyzing a Movie 59. Creating an "All About" Essay 60. Giving Writing Vocal Qualities 61. Using Opinions and Facts When Explaining Something New 62. Defining an Important Concept 63. Writing an Epistolary Essay 64. Moving Between Concrete Details and Abstract Ideas 65. Using Quotations to Support a Thesis in a Literary Essay 66. Writing an Extended Apostrophe 67. Multimedia Analysis of a Literary Theme Part III. Opinion/Argument 68. Using Facts as Evidence 69. Using Formal Versus Informal Language 70. Writing a Script for a Public Service Announcement 71. Examining Quotations 72. Developing Sentence Variety 73. Using Personal Experiences to Support Opinions 74. Using Verbs and Adjectives to Back Up Opinions 75. Making a Claim About a Historical Event 76. Using Sensory Details 77. Using Parentheses 78. Naming and Renaming 79. Using an Innovative Format 80. Using Internal Citations 81. Drawing Editorial Cartoons 82. Knocking Down the Opposition 83. Using Quirky Mental Images in an Argument 84. Using Question and Answer to Frame an Argument 85. Writing a Letter to Raise Awareness About a Social Problem 86. Using Repetition (Anaphora) for Emphasis and Style 87. Keeping an Argument From Sliding Into a Personal Narrative 88. Creating a Poster for Persuasion 89. Using Analogies to Show, Not Tell 90. Anticipating and Overcoming Objections 91. Anticipating a Reader's Objections 92. Using Hyperbole for Effect 93. Discovering a Problem, Proposing a Solution 94. Weaving Information Into a Persuasive Argument 95. Writing a Descriptive Lead 96. Using Third-Person Examples in an Argument 97. Using Opposites (Antithesis) to Make an Impact 98. Revising an Argument for Length 99. Using the Literary Present Tense to Present an Argument 100. Making Inferences From Pictures 101. Supporting an Argument With Expert Knowledge Appendixes Appendix A: 25 Ways to Use Great Student Essays Appendix B: Text Structures Appendix C: Lessons by Writing Trait and Level of Difficulty

About the Author

A popular workshop presenter and winner of NCTE's James Moffett Award in 2010, Gretchen Bernabei has been teaching kids to write in middle school and high school classrooms for more than thirty years. In addition to four other professional books and numerous articles for NCTE journals, she is the author of National Geographic School Publications' The Good Writer's Kit, as well as Lightning in a Bottle, a CD of visual writing prompts. Judi Reimer taught fourth grade in San Antonio, Texas, for seventeen years and continues to advise students and school districts. She has worked as a freelance writer, contributing columns and features for Parents, Ladies' Home Journal, and other national magazines. Judi has also written articles for Studies Weekly classroom publications and has been a freelance writer for American Legacy Publishing.


"Here is what I love about this book: It has gobs and gobs of student writing samples with smart and lively explanations of how to use each as the focus of a craft lesson to teach writing. The right models of student writing are the best mentor texts a teacher can find and with this book, you need look no further. . . . Breathe, fellow writing teachers. Much needed and wanted help has arrived."

-- Ruth Culham, Author of Traits Writing

"Gretchen Bernabei is a wizard. In this book she provides wonderfully practical help for instruction in narrative, expository, and argumentative writing. And like all her work, it rests on a dynamic sense of 'structure'. At a time when writing instruction is becoming increasingly formulaic, Gretchen continues to show the wealth of options students can have for developing their ideas and expanding on their experiences."

-- Thomas R. Newkirk, Author of Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones
"Gretchen Bernabei has done it again--only better. Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning plops us down in the middle of the disheveled process of writing and gives us concrete ways to navigate through. This book stands apart in two ways. First, it gives us myriad unpublished mentor texts written by students with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Second, its a la carte format makes it a perfect resource from which teachers can cull lessons." -- Kay Shurtleff, President

"Once again, Gretchen Bernabei weaves together masterful, concrete strategies with powerful student examples. Gretchen provides text structures and student models to move authentic writing beyond traditional formulas. This book is a must read/must try for all ELA teachers."

-- P. Tim Martindell, Ed.D, President-Elect
"The good news is that the book you hold in your hand is a lifeline to real writing instruction. Based on careful observation of wonderfully varied student writing, grades 4-9, and organized around the genres of the Common Core Standards, Fun-Sized Academic Writing is the best book I know for giving students a fun-sized suit that fits their true voices as writers and thinkers." -- Barry Lane, Founder

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