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Come to Class: Lessons for High School Writers

"Writing well is hard. Teaching students to write well is even harder. The task is particularly confounding because so much of what has been said and written about how to teach writing is at odds with how real writers work. For example, "Show. Don't tell." Plenty of remarkable writers do a lot of telling. "Never use said." Glance down at the dialogue in a novel on your bedside table. I'll bet you find repeated he said and she said. "Eliminate all 'to be' verbs." Have you ever tried writing without them? Definitive rules about writing simply don't hold fast." —Carol Jago

View A Classroom Walkthrough narrated by Carol > >

Teaching students to write well is hard. Team teaching with a master writing teacher can make it easier-and more productive. Come to Class offers you that opportunity. In Come to Class, Carol Jago shares the writing lessons and classroom survival skills she honed over 32 years of teaching. Each lesson describes Carol's teaching moves and language and includes suggestions on pacing the lesson, setting students up for success, organizing flexible groups, and troubleshooting common classroom management problems. Organized around five fundamental types of writing—expository writing, persuasive writing, writing about literature, narrative writing, and reflective writing—Come to Class will help you personalize your writing curriculum while at the same time it will support you as you prepare your students for district assessments.

  • Writing to Persuade focuses on persuasive writing and, using a wide variety of literary and rhetorical examples, demonstrates how teachers can assist students to craft effective essays.
  • Writing to Explain highlights the relationship between writers and readers and helps students explain themselves clearly, convincingly, and cohesively.
  • Writing About Literature offers novel methods for helping students write both analytically and insightfully about poetry, plays, short stories, novels, and literary nonfiction.
  • Reflective Writing invites students to explore important issues in personal essays that go beyond simple autobiography and use personal experience as a springboard for analysis.
  • Narrative Writing teaches students how to use the features of storytelling—anecdote, dialogue, setting, tone-to enliven analytical essays.





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