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Quercus

Books about writing that are not curriculum

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I need a few books for 8-9 grades, but am interested in all ages, so please list your favorites.

So far I have these in a list to look at:

  • Elements of Style (should I get the original or the workbook?)
  • Stephen King's On Writing (is there anything inappropriate we should know about?)
  • They Say/ I Say
  • Oxford Guide To Writing
  • Rulebook For Arguments (is this really a book about writing?)
  • On Writing Well
  • Bird By Bird 

 

What am I missing?

 

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48 minutes ago, Quercus said:

Stephen King's On Writing (is there anything inappropriate we should know about?)

Not inappropriate, but it's about writing fiction if that makes a difference.  It also has a lot of stuff about his alcoholism.

Other resources:  Engaging Ideas (heavily influenced my approach to teaching writing--talks about writing as an extension of thinking), the Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing (I linked the edition I have, but there are apparently at least two newer ones), and Habits of the Creative Mind (an interesting approach to teaching writing--places actually having something to say at the center).

 

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Engaging Ideas. Best book on teaching writing that is out there, hands down. Glad to see EKS recommends it too!

I have read and evaluated 30+ books/curriculum. Years ago, I wrote a thread up comparing them, and then started grabbing other good lists of resources people posted elsewhere on this board and added them to the thread also.  I keep posting it recently, and it makes a big box when I link which makes me feel like I am self-promoting.  But if you want me to link to it again, I will. 🙂 

Edited by lewelma
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For writing poetry, I like Rose, Where Did You Get That Red for younger students (though its principles really will work for any age), and The Triggering Town for older ones. Neither is curriculum. 

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A Rulebook for Arguments has some stuff about writing argumentative essays in it, but I would say it's more logic/rhetoric than writing.  They Say/I Say is a good resource for persuasion/argument. I found On Writing Well too technical for me.

I have especially liked The Lively Art of Writing and Writing to the Point by Kerrigan. Those two are my favourites. Writing With a Thesis, mentioned above, is really good for showing how every type of essay can be used to write persuasively, and it also has lots of example essays. If you have a Charlotte Mason bent, Know and Tell by Karen Glass is really good. It's more about turning written narration into essays.

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I loved King's On Writing.  It is a book for adults, but it is not horror like some of his other writing.  It is part biography, part writing manual.  In the writing manual, I remember he used examples such as (this is made up, but similar to what is in the book), "Susan, Jared, and Karen dragged the dead body down the stairs."  These sorts of examples were considerably higher interest than what we usually find in writing manuals.  😂  It's a fast read, so maybe pre-read. 

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I've read it twice. It is about *how* to design writing assignments to encourage thinking and engagement. Definitely not a curriculum.  Half of the book is not very useful to a non-professor audience, but the other half more than makes up for this.

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3 hours ago, lewelma said:

I've read it twice. It is about *how* to design writing assignments to encourage thinking and engagement. Definitely not a curriculum.  Half of the book is not very useful to a non-professor audience, but the other half more than makes up for this.

 

At this point, we are no longer using "curriculum" aside form our math books and French LA.  It's a nice feeling!    

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18 hours ago, lewelma said:

Engaging Ideas. Best book on teaching writing that is out there, hands down. Glad to see EKS recommends it too!

I have read and evaluated 30+ books/curriculum. Years ago, I wrote a thread up comparing them, and then started grabbing other good lists of resources people posted elsewhere on this board and added them to the thread also.  I keep posting it recently, and it makes a big box when I link which makes me feel like I am self-promoting.  But if you want me to link to it again, I will. 🙂 

Please do!

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Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write is my personal favorite book on writing, but I wouldn’t use it with a student.

I don’t think The Writer’s Jungle is a curriculum. For me, that’s the best book about teaching writing for the late elementary and middle school stage.

One book not mentioned that totally fits this list is Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. I used it with my kids, I scheduled it for GPS... I know professional writers who swear by it.

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5 hours ago, maize said:

Please do!

The thread is definitely more about curriculum, but it also categorizes different writing approaches and does work through a bunch of the books listed here.  And it focuses on organizing the big goals and how to accomplish them.

ETA: I'm rereading it. Wow what a trip down memory lane. Here are some good non-curriculum posts past the first page

page 3 detailed discussion on how I taught my son to write beautiful and purposeful descriptions, with an example

page 5 post 20 and 21 (I think, boy I miss post numbers) - discussion of anthologies

Page 6 - discussion of teaching reading vs writing papers (multiple posts on page 6 are non-curriculum)

 

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