All About Writing

Using the Craft of Nonfiction Texts to Inspire Writers

All About Books

I love the bravery of young writers. These tiny experts have such a huge wealth of knowledge about things in their life. Sharing all they know about a topic is one of the first ways writers begin the hard work of expository writing.

Over 85% of the reading and writing we do as adults, is nonfiction. We are learners. We want to know more about the world around us. Our students are the same way. Want to engage a group of boys? Bust out a Nic Bishop book about snakes or lizards. It is the real world around us that often fuels our wonderings and research.

The greatest thing is that your class is full of tiny experts. Now, they may be experts in topics that you might not think are that interesting, but are the world to your writers. Some of my favorite expert areas from this week are:






Master Chief (apparently it is a game)



My Family


Zoo Animals


I am always blown away by how much students want to share their expertise.

Writers Can Use Text Features in Their Writing

As teachers, we spend a lot of time teaching students what text features are, how to read them, and how they help the reader. As writing teachers, we can help students use those same text features to teach their audience.

This week, I had the privilege of modeling in a first-grade classroom. After beginning our work on collecting ideas for our All About books, we ventured into text features. We looked at mentor texts where we noticed labeled diagrams. We noticed that labeled diagrams help the reader see the parts of something. I challenged the students to see if there was a place in their book to include a labeled diagram. These young writers rocked it!

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Great Nonfiction Titles