1st Edition

Nonfiction Notebooks Strategies for Informational Writing

By Aimee Buckner Copyright 2013

    In my classroom, I have found that through the support of notebook work, students can grow their writing and strengthen their ideas. With strong ideas, they can write better first drafts. The work we do in notebooks before rushing into a draft gives us time to envision our work, to find mentor texts we love, and to study those texts. In doing so, we actually are doing a lot of the revision- on our vision- before we write the draft. -; Nonfiction Notebooks Aimee Buckner has introduced writer's notebooks to hundreds of classrooms through her popular book Notebook Know-How , thereby helping students everywhere learn to improve their overallwriting by focusing on essential prewriting strategies. Now, using the same format, Aimee explains how writer's notebooks can help students improve their nonfiction writing-;reports, articles, memoirs, essays, and so forth-;which has taken on even greater importance because of the emphasis the Common Core State Standards place on informative/explanatory writing. As Aimee explains, the prewriting work a student does is particularly important when writing informational pieces. Writer's notebooks help students capture their thoughts, develop ideas, explore mentor texts, refine a research strategy, and play with multiple outcomes-;all of which lead to stronger concepts and better first drafts. Greater emphasis on the front end of the writing process also saves time and energy at the revision and editing stages. From exploring topics to gathering information to assessment, Nonfiction Notebooks takes teachers step-by-step through the process of how best to use notebooks for informational writing. Helpful reproducible forms are included both in the book and as downloads online.

    Chapter 1: Writer's Notebooks: An Informational Twist; Chapter 2: Strategies to Explore Topics; Chapter 3: Strategies to Gather Information; Chapter 4: Predrafting Strategies; Chapter 5: Strategies to Craft Informational Pieces; Chapter 6: Assessment


    Aimee Buckner has taught children in grades 3–6 and is currently teaching fourth graders at Brookwood Elementary School in Georgia. As a specialist in both reading and writing instruction, she speaks at national and regional literacy conferences around the country, including NCTE and IRA. Notebook Know-How eloquently develops a process for the assessment of writer’s notebooks that actively involves the students. Buckner describes a process of self-evaluation, which demands that students reread and re?ect thoughtfully on their own writing and their process of writing development. Writing self-re?ection is a highly valued skill, and its inclusion in Notebook Know-How makes this book a very strong guide for any educator interested in using writer’s notebooks.

    "As I read each chapter, I felt as if I was sitting in Ms. Buckner’s classroom, watching a great teacher in action. I could sense her enthusiasm as her students asked questions, fidgeted as she explained a concept, became engaged in the writing process, and developed a desire to become better writers. Nonfiction Notebooks is a book that can be put to use immediately, as I did. It includes ideas that can be used alongside today’s lesson or saved in your mental file cabinet." - MiddleWeb