The work of Donald Graves, Lucy Calkins, Donald Murray, Nancie Atwell, and others has led to a whole generation of writing process workshops where children write, share, revise, and publish their work with confidence. But such progress raises problems, and teachers today have a number of new concerns, mainly: Now that my students are writing, how do I help them improve?
What a Writer Needs answers these concerns. In engaging, anecdotal prose, Ralph Fletcher provides a wealth of specific, practical strategies for challenging and extending student writing. There are chapters on details, the use of time, voice, character, beginnings and endings, among others. The work of student and professional writers is sprinkled throughout the book, and a generous appendix of useful picture books and novels is also provided.
In What a Writer Needs, Ralph Fletcher brings important perspectives and ideas that are well-grounded in classroom experience. The book is for writing teachers as well as teachers who write, and with its thorough exploration of literary techniques it will also be useful and appealing to reading teachers. As Donald Murray writes in the Foreword, the author "builds sturdy bridges from the writer's studio to the elementary and middle school classroom."