In 2012, if you read “The Writing Revolution,” Peg Tyre’s article in The Atlantic about Judith Hochman’s effective method for teaching writing, you may have wondered, Where can I learn more about this?
You were not alone.
In fact, so many people asked for more information that Judith Hochman started a nonprofit, and she and the Board Chair, Natalie Wexler, wrote a book to explain how the method works.
The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades (recently published by Jossey-Bass with a thoughtful foreword by Doug Lemov) tackles one of the most common teaching problems in the field: assigning writing but not teaching it. Hochman and Wexler share strategies for how to get students to use the writing process to expand their thinking, and their approach should help teachers of ALL subjects, even math!
A few highlights: they rightly point to the importance of questioning the text—how it informs writing as well as reading—and the need to teach students how to write SENTENCES before we ask them to write paragraphs. I particularly love their “because-but-so” activity, in which students complete sentence stems with these words, as in:
Washington crossed the Delaware because ___________.
Washington crossed the Delaware, but ___________.
Washington crossed the Delaware, so ___________.
Writing is one way we show understanding of content. This excellent book will help K-12 teachers strengthen their students’ ability to do that.