Table of Contents

Smart Writing‘s eight writing units provide all the lessons and teaching tools you need to teach the writing genres middle school students need most.

Getting Started
UNIT 1: Establishing Foundations
In this introductory unit you learn about students' writing lives and show them how to find topics they care about, study a mentor text, plan their writing, and craft effective leads and endings. 

Narrative Writing
UNIT 2: Writing a Short Memoir
Building on a significant memory, students learn to use specific details, dialogue that showcases personality and emotions, and strong verbs to bring energy and voice to their writing about the event.
UNIT 3: Writing a Short, Short Story
Mingling truth with imagination to craft a short story, students explore how to fictionalize a true experience and how to use specific details to show, not tell.

UNIT 4: Writing a Persuasive Essay
Students learn how to develop an opinion about a topic they choose, craft leads and endings that support argument writing, and convince others to side with them and take action as a result of the argument.
UNIT 5: Writing an Analytical Essay
After reading and analyzing narrative texts, students develop a thesis statement and support their position using explicit details and inferences from the text.

Informational/Explanatory Writing
UNIT 6: Writing an Informative Essay
Students find and focus a topic that interests them, consider what their audience knows about the topic, and then develop categories that introduce compelling information.
UNIT 7: Writing a Compare/Contrast Essay
Students research the events that frame a piece of historical fiction and figure out why the author includes, omits, or alters information, then, in an essay, they compare historical fact with the author's version, trying to explain the author's position and purpose.

Free Choice Writing
UNIT 8: Writing in Any Genre
Free choice writing encourages independence and responsibility because students move through the entire writing process relying on their own knowledge, past lessons, and expertise and the support ofpeer partners.