Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Reading Like a Writer

Examine Your Practice

This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing during a writing workshop. In the videos, teachers and other experts talk about what it means to read like a writer. When you are reading like a writer, you begin to notice how things are written because you write yourself. Likewise, knowing you are going to write in a certain genre changes the way you read it.

Read the following quote, consider your own students, and answer the questions below.

To read like a writer is to apprentice yourself to another writer. We try to teach kids to create their own style by learning the styles of other writers and taking on those craft moves that they think they can do and that they think will enhance their writing, without imitating the exact structure of the other writer's piece.

Teachers should be able to first, read like a reader — take it in and enjoy it. Then, read like a writer — look into a text and notice the craft. And then, read like a teacher of writing — be able to identify the craft that you can teach to your students, what your students need to learn.

— Isoke Nia

Notebook.

Guiding Questions

Reflect on the quote from Isoke Nia and consider your own students. Then write your answers to the questions below in your notebook. If you are working in a group, share your responses.

  • Think about how you read text. Do you switch "lenses" easily when you're reading, going from reader to writer to teacher? What are some specific aspects of a text that you focus on as a reader? As a writer? As a teacher?
  • Describe how you could model reading like a writer outside of your language arts instruction.

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