National Writing Project

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Teaching Reading

Featured Resources

Book Review: The Book Club Companion: Fostering Strategic Readers in the Secondary Classroom, by Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

March 2009
Jamie Heans
Jamie Heans reviews Cindy O'Donnell-Allen's The Book Club Companion: Fostering Strategic Readers in the Secondary Classroom, whose "book club" approach he has used to enliven and transform his classes' reading experience. More ›

Book Review: Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind by Carol D. Lee

January 2009
Stephen Gordon
Carol Lee reports on her teaching students to respond to literature in a Chicago public school. She concludes that teachers can succeed if they have knowledge about the language, culture, cognition, motivation, and social/emotional realities of urban students. More ›

Annotated Bibliography: Vocabulary Instruction and Development Resources

December 2008
Interested in academic vocabulary development and its relationship to reading and writing? This brief annotated bibliography is a great place to start reading. More ›

 

Additional Resources

New Literacies in an Age of Participatory Culture

February 2013
Henry Jenkins and Wyn Kelley's Reading in a Participatory Culture documents what happened when Project New Media Literacies brought together a multidisciplinary team of media researchers, designers, and educators to develop and implement new curricular and pedagogical models that bring learning practices often found in sites of informal learning into the English Language Arts classroom. In chapter one, authors Katie Clinton, Henry Jenkins, and Jenna McWilliams outline the development of new literacies in a more participatory culture. More ›

Elizabeth Fuller: Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year

June 2012
Tiffany Chiao
Louisville Writing Project teacher-consultant Elizabeth Fuller, named the 2012 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year, discusses the impact of the Writing Project on her teaching. More ›

Putting the "Shop" in Reading Workshop: Building Reading Stamina

English Journal, June 2012
Amanda N. Gulla, a teacher-consultant with the New York City Writing Project, observes how formerly underperforming language arts ninth graders became engaged, thoughtful readers. Through an ethnographic study, Gulla describes the teacher's methods of hands-on teaching, independent reading, open discussions, and more that help her students develop literacy expertise without losing their identities. More ›

A Literacy Education for Our Times

English Journal, August 2011
Rick VanDeWeghe
Richard VanDeWeghe, director of the Denver Writing Project, discusses English teachers' attempts to engender a "capacity to understand other perspectives and cultures" in their students, a skill that's emphasized in the Common Core Standards. More ›

Green(ing) English: Voices Howling in the Wilderness?

English Journal, August 2011
Heather E. Bruce
Heather Bruce, director of the Montana Writing Project, discusses how writing instruction should include "an embrace of environmental and human peace" to raise new questions about humanity's role as a citizen of the ecological community. More ›

Ernest Morrell on Navigating Urban Literacies

August 2011
Ernest Morrell, education professor and former Bay Area Writing Project teacher-consultant, examined the relationships between language, literacy, culture, and power in society in his keynote speech at the 2011 Urban Sites Network Conference. More ›

Professional Book Reviews: Movement in Literacy: New Directions in Multilingual, Multicultural, Multinational, and Multimodal Literacy Studies

June 2011
This column features professional and academic resources for literacy educators exploring multilingual, multicultural, multinational, and multimodal literacies for an increasingly global and digitally networked world. More ›

Kelly Gallagher Takes on the "Killing of Reading"

February 2011
Art Peterson
Kelly Gallagher, a former co-director of the South Basin Writing Project, will address the 2011 NWP Spring Meeting on how testing, limited reading experience, and the over-teaching of literature have made students commit "readicide." More ›

Book Review: Teaching Reading in Middle School

January 2011
Rosalyn Finlayson
Rosalyn Finlayson, a teacher-consultant with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writing Project, recommends this book to teachers looking for strategies to implement reading workshops in their classroom to benefit students at all reading levels. More ›

“Book Whisperer” Credits Writing Project For Success

December 2010
Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer, addressed the General Session of the 2010 NWP Annual Meeting with a speech titled, "From Silence to Whispering: My NWP Story," a wonderful inspiration to the hundreds of teachers in attendance. More ›

“Third Space” Inquiry Group Examines Intersections of Multiple Literacies

September 2010
Kristin Schweitzer
A group of history and science teachers from Writing Project sites across the nation gathered—in person and online—to read about and reflect on content area literacy and delve into creative ways to support multiple literacies in content area classrooms. More ›

Book Review: The Write to Read: Response Journals That Increase Comprehension

August 2010
Art Peterson
Lesley Roessing, director of the Coastal Savannah Writing Project in Georgia, has provided readers with thoughtful, sequenced, and creative strategies to direct students toward deeper and more personal responses to literature. More ›

Content Area Literacy and Learning—Selected Sources for the 21st Century

June 2010
Judith Rodby
This bibliography contains resources about content area literacy that teacher leaders in the National Reading Initiative have found useful in their professional development and classroom work. More ›

Book Review: Using Picture Books to Teach Writing with the Traits: K-2

June 2010
Janet Bassett
Janet Basset, a teacher-consultant with the Oklahoma State Writing Project, discusses how this book's 150 annotations of new and classic picture books can be used with teacher-tested lesson plans to teach seven writing traits. More ›

An Annotated Bibliography for Elizabeth Birr Moje

May 2010
Judith Rodby
Elizabeth Birr Moje, self-described "friend of the National Writing Project," offers some of the most provocative viewpoints in content area literacy research today. This annotated bibliography can serve as a primer of some of her recent works. More ›

Book Review: Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements

May 2010
Tanya N. Baker
Jeffrey Wilhelm, director of the Boise State Writing Project, and Michael Smith bring deep knowledge about teaching and learning directly to the study of literature, focusing on the demands of teaching and connecting them to the needs, passions, and strengths of adolescent students. More ›

Writing to Read: A Collection of NWP Articles

May 2010
NWP has published a number of articles about the need to have students write about text, learn skills to create text, and write regularly to develop literacy—strategies in support of the recommendations of Writing to Read, a report from the Carnegie Corporation. More ›

New Report Finds That Writing Can Be Powerful Driver for Improving Reading Skills

April 2010
While writing and reading skills are closely connected, writing is an often overlooked tool for improving reading skills and content learning, according to Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading, a new report from Carnegie Corporation of New York published by the Alliance for Excellent Education. More ›

NWP Radio—What’s Next: Possibilities for Literacy and Content Area Learning

March 2010
Listen to a post-conference discussion with NWP leaders about the Writing Project's work with content-area teachers and disciplinary literacy. This program follows up NWP's "What's Next: Possibilities for Literacy and Content Area Learning conference" held in March 2010 in New Orleans. More ›

Disciplinary Literacy: Why It Matters and What We Should Do About It

March 2010
Watch the video of Elizabeth Birr Moje delivering the keynote speech on "disciplinary literacy" at the 2010 National Reading Initiative Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. More ›

Book Review: Literacy and Learning: Reflections on Writing, Reading, and Society

March 2010
Elizabeth Radin Simons
Elizabeth Radin Simons reviews Deborah Brandt's collected essays on the dramatic changes in "literacy sponsorship" over the last century and the implications for teaching and learning literacy today. More ›

When Teachers Read: How the Writing Project Made Me a Lifelong Learner

January 2010
Liz Harrington
Liz Harrington, a fellow of the UC Irvine Writing Project, describes how she brought Nicenet into her classroom, providing students with a tool to engage in a "threaded discussion." More ›

Reading Aloud to Teens Gains Favor Among Teachers

Education Week, January 2010
Reading aloud to students isn't just for teachers in the early grades. Increasingly, teachers are reading aloud to students across content areas and grade levels—and getting results. Debra Schneider, a teacher-consultant with the Great Valley Writing Project, is profiled in this Education Week article. More ›

Book Review: Essential Readings on Comprehension

January 2010
Cathy Blanchfield
Cathy Blanchfield, a teacher with the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, finds this collection of articles focused on teaching reading comprehension in the content areas particularly useful to workshop facilitators working with content area teachers. More ›

Elizabeth Birr Moje on “Disciplinary Literacy” and Reading Across the Content Areas

January 2010
Art Peterson
Elizabeth Birr Moje makes the case for a disciplinary literacy that, rather than hewing to generic literacy “strategies,” focuses on the literacy skills required of practitioners in a content field. Moje will be the keynote speaker at the 2010 National Reading Initiative Conference. More ›

Book Review: The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

January 2010
Amanda Cornwell
Author Donalyn Miller, a teacher-consultant with the North Star of Texas Writing Project, reveals how she develops successful readers in her classroom by giving students the responsibility and freedom to choose the books they read. More ›

Spotlight on Think It Ink It: They Supply the Pictures, Kids Supply the Story

January 2010
Art Peterson
Think It Ink It creates illustrated books that children themselves write—beginning with wordless picture books that encourage both reading and writing. More ›

Adolescent Literacy Reports from Carnegie Corporation Detail Plan of Action

January 2010
Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Adolescent Literacy for College and Career Success sets out a national agenda for fully supporting young learners and using evidence-based case studies to boost adolescent literacy rates. More ›

For Your Bookshelf: Considering the Teaching of Reading

January 2010
Too many books, too little time! Writing project teachers review recent and classic publications in reading and adolescent literacy that you might consider for your bookshelf. More ›

Foreword to Bring It to Class

May 2010
Kylene Beers
Students' backpacks bulge not just with oversize textbooks, but with paperbacks, graphic novels, street lit, and electronics such as iPods and handheld video games. Bring It to Class is about unpacking those texts to explore previously unexamined assumptions regarding their usefulness to classroom learning. More ›

Book Review: Bright Beginnings for Boys: Engaging Young Boys in Active Literacy

December 2009
Martha Garner-Duhe
For teachers who are concerned about male underachievement in literacy, Bright Beginnings for Boys illuminates and analyzes learning differences between young boys and girls while proposing positive strategies for working with boys in the early years. More ›

Book Review: Teaching Vocabulary: 50 Creative Strategies, Grades 6–12

December 2009
Darcy Nickel
Teaching Vocabulary: 50 Creative Strategies, Grades 6–12 provides a potpourri of instructional strategies presented by many teachers and researchers. More ›

Please, Don't Commit 'Readicide'

December 2009
This editorial from the Charleston Gazette supports Kelly Gallagher's book Readicide in which he describes ways schools practice the "systematic killing of the love of reading." Gallagher was co-director of the former South Basin Writing Project at California State University Long Beach. More ›

The Path Toward Opening Night: One Road to Literacy

October 2009
Ben Bates
Ben Bates, co-director of the Oklahoma State Writing Project, explores the premise that directed script reading and play production provide roads to literacy for his students. More ›

“Book Whisperer” Discusses How to Encourage Young Readers

October 2009
Donalyn Miller, teacher-consultant with the North Star of Texas Writing Project and author of the recently published The Book Whisperer, lends insight into her work in this interview with NWP. More ›

Book Review: The Vocabulary Teacher's Book of Lists by Edward B. Frye

July 2009
Melanie Rawls Abrams
With its lists of words arranged by category, The Vocabulary Teacher's Book of Lists is surprising, bemusing, wildly informative, and practical. More ›

Book Review: Literature Is Back! Using the Best Books for Teaching Readers and Writers Across Genres

December 2008
Lisa Light
Lisa Light, co-director at Jacksonville State University Writing Project, describes Literature Is Back! as a lifeline to primary/intermediate and middle school teachers, with lists of books and practical research-supported ideas for using children's literature to teach key literacy skills and strategies. More ›

Book Review: Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature K–6

December 2008
Lisa Light
Mentor Texts, written by two writing project teacher-consultants, offers explicit ideas, clear models, and inspiration for teaching writing to students in kindergarten through middle school. More ›

NWP Collaborates to Publish Early Literacy Activity Book—Our Book By Us!/Nuestro Libro ¡Hecho Por Nosotros!

June 2008
A new hands-on book for preschoolers provides parents and caregivers with a resource in English and Spanish that engages young children in reading and writing to support their early literacy development. More ›

Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices

National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, 2008
The newest practice guide published by The Institute of Education Science (IES) offers specific recommendations that educators can use to improve literacy levels among students in upper elementary, middle, and high schools. IES publishes practice guides in education to bring available evidence and expertise to bear on the types of systemic challenges that cannot be addressed by single interventions or programs. More ›

The ‘Book Whisperer’ Answers Questions about Teaching Reading

January 2008
Paul Oh
Donalyn Miller, teacher-consultant with the North Star of Texas Writing Project, teaches her students to love reading—and they read 50 to 60 books a year. More ›

Boys’ Literacy Camp Sets a Standard

July 2007
When adolescent readers can read, but won't read, how can teachers get them engaged? Teacher-consultants in Maine created a summer wilderness camp where students must read in order to do things they want to do. More ›

A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners

Research in the Teaching of English , 2007
More ›

Reading Researcher Advocates Strengthening Literacy Programs Through Reading-Writing Synergy

Fall 2007
P. David Pearson
Reading researcher P. David Pearson shares his thoughts about how the synergy between reading and writing holds implications for developing literacy in classrooms. More ›

National Reading Initiative Keywords Project

November 2007
Marcie Wolfe
Created by participants in the National Reading Initiative Lead Sites Project, this resource describes a process for involving educators in identifying and questioning a shared vocabulary for the study of reading. More ›

Reading Comprehension and Informational Texts—Annotated Working Bibliography

November 2007
Judith Rodby
This bibliography was developed with the National Reading Initiative Leadership Team as a resource for site leaders who are expanding their site's work to include the teaching of reading as a companion to their work with writing. More ›

The Pathway Project Demonstrates Success with Cognitive Strategies for Reading and Writing for English Language Learners

November 2007
Carol Booth Olson, Robert Land
Can sustained writing project professional development in cognitive strategies for reading and writing lead to improved academic literacy outcomes for English language learners? The Pathway Project demonstrates that it can. More ›

Book Review: Lifers: Learning from At-Risk Adolescent Readers, by Pamela Mueller

The Quarterly, 2005
Emily Noble
This book describes the experience—in their own words—of several at-risk students who have been struggling with reading for years. Noble describes Mueller's model for a reading workshop for ninth grade students. More ›

An Offer They Cannot Refuse

The Voice, 2004
Rosemary Eismann
Rosemary Eismann contends that the challenge for parents and educators is to find a way to make students want to read. She offers a variety of tactics that have helped her students become avid readers. More ›

Book Review: “Reading Don't Fix No Chevys”: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, by Michael Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm

The Quarterly, 2004
Bob Sizoo
Bob Sizoo reviews "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys": Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, which examines how to engage boys in school literacy. More ›

Book Review: Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension, by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm

The Quarterly, 2004
Pamela Fong
Pamela Fong reviews Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension, which challenges teachers to consider untraditional ways to support student comprehension and engage otherwise unmotivated students into becoming independent learners. More ›

Reading is Nuts

The Voice, 2004
Philip Ireland
In this personal reflection, Philip Ireland weaves together a 15-year-old's current struggle with The Old Man and the Sea and his memory of learning to crack open "The Lottery" in the fifth grade. The lesson he learned from his teacher 20 years ago was that in order to crack the shell of great literature, one must pay attention. More ›

Walking in Our Students' Shoes: Reading Teachers and the Writing Project Model

The Quarterly, 2004
Peter Kittle
Kittle recounts his experience with reading teachers—in all disciplines—who are also learning and practicing new reading strategies to advance learning in their classrooms. More ›

When Was the Last Time Someone Read to You?

The Quarterly, 2004
Grace Hoffman
Grace Hoffman recounts her experiences of being read to as a child, reading to her own children, and listening to books on tape as she argues for the pleasures of listening to the written word. More ›

Book Review: The Reading/Writing Connection, by Carol Booth Olson

The Quarterly, 2003
Harry Noden
Harry Noden reviews The Reading/Writing Connection: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the Secondary Classroom by Carol Booth Olson. More ›

TR 24. Exploring the Cognition of Reading-to-Write

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 2003
Victoria Stein
This report describes how a comparison of the think-aloud protocols of 36 students showed differences in ways students monitored their comprehension, elaborated, structured the reading, and planned their texts. More ›

Thinking About the Reading/Writing Connection with David Pearson

The Voice, March-April 2002
David Pearson, a speaker at the upcoming NWP Spring Meeting, shares some thoughts on the synergy of the reading-writing connection. More ›

Multiple Texts: Multiple Opportunities for Teaching and Learning

Voices from the Middle, May 2002
Laura Robb
Robb stresses the use of multiple texts in exploring content areas so that students with varying reading skills have an opportunity for optimal learning, and all have a chance to consider a topic from multiple perspectives. More ›

Story of SCORE: The MS Writing/Thinking Institute Takes on a Statewide Reading Initiative

National Writing Project At Work, November 2002
Cassandria Hansbrough, Lynette Herring-Harris
Lynette Herring-Harris and Cassandria B. Hansbrough narrate the story of a Mississippi statewide secondary reading inservice that they developed, designed, and implemented for teachers of all subjects. More ›

Zach's Story

The Voice, November-December 2002
Denise Rambach
How one student found himself on a poster celebrating literacy after years of being a self-admitted non-reader. More ›

Book Review: Strategic Reading, by Jeff Wilhelm, Tanya Baker and Julie Dube

The Quarterly, Spring 2002
Marean Jordan
Marean Jordan reviews Strategic Reading: Guiding Students to Lifelong Literacy 6-12 by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Tanya N. Baker, and Julie Dube. More ›

Matching Reading Models and Strategies

The Quarterly, Fall 2001
Mary Frances Landenwich
Primary school teacher Mary Frances Landenwich discovered that skill-and-drill reading activities did very little for her students' reading comprehension, so she instituted a meaning-centered teaching style that lead to some productive pairings of reading models and strategies. More ›

Author to Author: How Text Influences Young Writers

The Quarterly, Spring 2001
Dina Sechio DeCristofaro
Fifth grade teacher Dina Sechio Decristofaro examines the relationship between what students read and what they write. More ›

Book Review: Reading Reminders, by Jim Burke

The Quarterly, Spring 2001
Jane Braunger
Jane Braunger reviews Reading Reminders: Tools, Tips, and Techniques by Jim Burke. More ›

Book Review: Teaching Reading in the Middle School, by Laura Robb

The Quarterly, Summer 2001
Suzanne Cherry
Suzanne Cherry reviews Teaching Reading in Middle School: A Strategic Approach to Teaching Reading That Improves Comprehension and Thinking by Laura Robb. More ›

Experiments in Reading and Writing

The Quarterly, Winter 2001
Nancy Wilson
Wilson documents a collaboration between the New York City Writing Project and an overcrowded inner city high school. The model makes use of an on–site teacher–consultant. More ›

Discovering New Ways to Support Student Readers

The Voice, May-June 2000
Nancy Mintz
More ›

Survivor in the Library

The Voice, November-December 2000
Carol Jago
Carol Jago proposes a new reality television show: "Survivor in the Library," in which a dozen readers are marooned in a public library and are challenged to persuade others of the intrinsic merits of books. More ›

Book Review: Mosaic of Thought, by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman

The Quarterly, Spring 2000
Sheryl Lain
More ›

Book Review: Reading for Understanding, by Schoenbach, Greenleaf, Cziko and Hurwitz

The Quarterly, Summer 2000
Bob Fecho
More ›

What Is Reading? An Excerpt from Reading for Understanding

The Quarterly, Summer 2000
Christine Cziko, Cynthia Greenleaf, Lori Hurwitz, Ruth Schoenbach
More ›

Book Review: The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, by Jeff McQuillan

The Quarterly, Summer 1998
Jan Isenhour
More ›

Book Review: If Not Now: Developmental Readers in the College Classroom, by Jeanne Henry

The Quarterly, Spring 1996
Barbara Bass
Bass is admiring and enthusiastic about the reading workshop strategies Henry uses with her developmentally challenged college students, though she is skeptical of the claim that these techniques will work with all students. More ›

OP 29. Mining Texts in Reading to Write

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1991
Stuart Greene
Greene proposes a set of strategies for connecting reading and writing, discussing ways writers read and select information from source texts when they have a sense of authorship. More ›

TR 47. Transforming Texts: Constructive Processes in Reading and Writing

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1991
Nancy Nelson Spivey
This paper focuses on the complex processes involved when writers compose from sources—processes in which writing influences reading and reading influences writing. More ›

TR 45. Effects of Controlled, Primerese Language on the Reading Process

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1990
Herbert D. Simons, Paul Ammon, Charles Elster
The authors rewrote four primerese stories from basal readers to use more natural language. They then compared the effects of the two versions on the reading process and comprehension of first-graders. More ›

TR 40. Reading, Writing, and Knowing: The Role of Disciplinary Knowledge in Comprehension and Composing

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, March 1990
John Ackerman
To explore how experienced writers use both knowledge of a specific discipline and knowledge of general rhetorical skills, Ackerman analyses 40 synthesis essays written by graduate students in psychology and business. More ›

OP 07. The Problem-Solving Processes of Writers and Readers

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1989
Betsey Bowen, Bertram C. Bruce, Linda Flower, Margaret Kantz, Ann M. Penrose, Ann S. Rosebery
The authors focus on writing and reading as forms of problem solving that are shaped by communicative purpose, for example problems incurred in writing for a specific audience or reading to interpret text. More ›

OP 12. Construing Constructivism: Reading Research in the United States

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1989
Nancy Nelson Spivey
Constructivism portrays the reader as building a mental representation from textual cues. This paper reviews research on these aspects of reading and assesses the impact of constructivism on reading-related issues. More ›

TR 18. Readers as Writers Composing from Sources

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, February 1989
James R. King, Nancy Nelson Spivey
This study examines the report-writing of sixth-, eighth-, and tenth-graders, showing how accomplished and less accomplished readers work with source texts and compose their own new texts. More ›

TR 21. Studying Cognition in Context: Introduction to the Study

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 1989
Linda Flower
This report introduces the Reading-to-Write project, which examined the cognitive processes of reading-to-write as they were embedded in the social context of a college course. More ›

OP 05. Writing and Reading Working Together

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1988
Rebekah Caplan, Linnea C. Ehri, Mary K. Healy, Mary Hurdlow, Robert J. Tierney
Drawing on their teaching experience and research perspectives, the authors discuss specific classroom practices in which writing and reading work together. More ›

Collective Survival: Using Question Journals in the Classroom

The Quarterly, October 1988
Valerie Hobbs
More ›

TR 08. Writing and Reading in the Classroom

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, August 1987
James Britton
Britton discusses strategies teachers have developed for encouraging children to learn to write-and-read—activities that together create a literacy learning environment. More ›

TR 07. A Sisyphean Task: Historical Perspectives on the Relationship Between Writing and Reading Instruction

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, September 1987
Geraldine Joncich Clifford
Using perspectives drawn from American educational and social history, Clifford identifies historical forces that have influenced English education. More ›

TR 10. Movement into Word Reading and Spelling: How Spelling Contributes to Reading

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, September 1987
Linnea C. Ehri
Drawing on studies of the role of spelling in the reading process, Ehri discusses ways in which spelling contributes to the development of reading and, conversely, how reading contributes to spelling development. More ›

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