This book shows you how focusing your classroom activities on producing content, rather than form, boosts students’ engagement, making them active learners–not passive recipients of knowledge. Hillocks demonstrates that breaking any learning task into small, doable pieces allows students to master these tasks and prepares them for more complex learning. He shares the results of many years of teaching narrative writing in culturally and economically diverse Chicago schools.

You will see how "at-risk" kids’ competencies increase significantly as they are taught, step-by-step, how to complete important writing tasks, such as:

  • incorporating detail and figurative language
  • creating dialogue
  • expressing inner thoughts
  • portraying people and action
  • writing about scenes and settings
  • combining it all and revising