Making Nonfiction from Scratch

Making Nonfiction from Scratch

by Ralph Fletcher

Paperback(New Edition)

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Do you have students whose nonfiction writing is formulaic, devoid of energy and voice? In Making Nonfiction from Scratch bestselling PD and children’s book author Ralph Fletcher offers a candid critique of how nonfiction writing is often taught in schools and gives teachers the inspiration and strategies they need to help their students write authentic nonfiction.
Skilled nonfiction writers draw on strategies, techniques, and craft found in other genres: poetry, comedy, even mystery. Without those elements, nonfiction would be dry and dull. Making Nonfiction from Scratch helps bring all of those aspects together and shows how each genre can enrich nonfiction writing. Ralph emphasizes the power of choice, mentor texts, and nonfiction read-alouds in making nonfiction an everyday part of classrooms.
 “Classroom Connection” sections throughout the book suggest immediate, practical strategies for putting the ideas in the book to use. Two case studies and a chapter on the dos and don’ts of nonfiction writing instruction round out this short, practical book.
Any informational writing should be insightful, accurate, and well organized – but it doesn’t have to be boring. Ralph invites you to make your classroom a place where students can create delicious nonfiction full of passion, voice, and insight.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625310125
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date: 11/16/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 134
Sales rank: 463,917
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 5 - 13 Years

About the Author

Ralph Fletcher is a friend of writing teachers everywhere. Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, he received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and his master's degree from Columbia University.

A former member of the Teachers College Writing Project, he is currently an author and consultant. He is the author or coauthor with his wife, JoAnnn Portalupi, of numerous professional books and videos.

"It has been said that a writer needs to specialize. Alas, I never did that," says Ralph about his prolific writing career. He has written all kinds of books for kids, including poetry, picture books, and chapter books. "I am a restless kind of person," he admits. "I don't want to feel confined to any one genre or audience. I guess I am a prolific writer, but I'd rather be remembered as an author of quality than quantity."

Ralph speaks at national conferences around the United States and abroad. He also conducts his own one-day seminars and does occasional author visits to schools.

Ralph and JoAnn have four sons. He grows orchids and giant pumpkins, enjoys reading, travel, movies, dark chocolate, and oaky chardonnay. He says, "I was a Boston Red Sox fan long before it was trendy to be one."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Cooking from Scratch 1

Part 1 Setting the Table: Tools of the Nonfiction Trade 5

Chapter 1 Stone Soup: A Parable 7

Chapter 2 Lessons from Working as a Freelance Writer 17

Chapter 3 Louise Borden: Tools or the Nonfiction Trade 25

Chapter 4 Helpful Attitudes for Making Nonfiction 37

Part 2 Making Nonfiction in the Classroom 45

Chapter 5 Choosing Choice 47

Chapter 6 Where Have all the Nonfiction Read-Alouds Gone? 57

Chapter 7 An Exploratory Notebook 63

Chapter 8 Building Deep Knowledge 71

Chapter 9 Plunging into a Nonfiction Text Study 79

Chapter 10 The Power of Primary Sources 87

Chapter 11 Case History No. 1: The ABC's of Bubble Gum 93

Chapter 12 Case History No. 2: Kindergarten Ethnographies 105

Chapter 13 Deglazing the Pan: Dos, Don'ts, and Practical Tips for Teaching Nonfiction 115

References 123

Index 127

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