The Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo is a well-organized, practical guide that will assist classroom teachers in identifying where to start writing instruction with their K-8 students. The guide is organized according to a loose hierarchy of 10 goals: composing with pictures; engagement; generating ideas; focus; organization/structure; elaboration; word choice; conventions: spelling; conventions: grammar and punctuation; and partnership and clubs. Each chapter focuses on one of the ten goals and begins with a quick overview of the goal followed by a multitude of strategies. Each strategy is organized by grade level, genre and process. Serravallo also offers advice on how to teach writing goals over time, classroom set-up and how the strategies in the book might fit into your classroom.
This book is a ready-to-use resource, as Serravallo provides hundreds of writing strategies; each chapter has at least 19 and some, upwards of 40. Each writing strategy is clearly explained and includes teaching tips, prompts and work samples that demonstrate the writing strategy. The Writing Strategies Book concludes with several ideas on how to showcase and celebrate student work, and she indicates the cost, planning time and school time for each suggestion.
The table below gives a brief overview of a couple of sample lessons from each chapter/goal of the book.
*Strategies should be selected based on the students in your class and their instructional needs.
Serravallo, J. (2017). The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers. Portsmouth: Heinemann.