In this practical book filled with the stories of real children, Shelley Harwayne invites readers to explore the diverse roles literature plays in any writing workshop. The author re-examines the familiar workshop structures of mini-lessons, conferences, author-studies, and reader response groups and adds several new and surprising ways to weave literature into students' writing lives. These include using literature to:
- Build classroom community
- Understand students' literary histories
- Facilitate keeping a writer's notebook
- Discover important writing topics
- Put listening at the core of students' writing processes
- Inspire lifelong investigations of good writing
The text follows the chronology of a school year and is studded with literature excerpts, student writing samples, record-keeping devices, case studies, and vignettes of classroom life. Shelley Harwayne draws upon her travels, her speeches, and her family life, but mainly on her passion for putting fine literature into the hands and hearts of young children. It will be a valuable resource for all elementary and middle school teachers, especially those who wonder if the literature that lines their classroom walls is making a lasting impression on their students' lives and their writing.