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Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text Through Project-Based Instruction

Inside Information

Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text Through Project-Based Instruction

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Most teachers understand the importance of teaching children to read and write informational text. But how do they do it effectively? And in a way that is truly engaging? Nell K. Duke has the answer. With this book, she shows teachers how to build skills in reading and writing major informational text types-informative/explanatory, procedural/how-to, persuasive, nonfiction narrative, and biographical-through project-based instruction. Children read and write for real purposes and real audiences on topics that matter to them. In the process, they make a difference in the world. Drawing from the latest research, Duke explains how to design and carry out instruction, providing a blueprint for developing project-based units from start to finish-units that move children through a logical progression of phases: Project Launch, Reading and Research, Writing and Research, Revision and Editing, and Presentation and Celebration. Packed with clear, precise connections to Common Core State Standards, classroom-tested teaching ideas, and the work of practicing teachers and their students, this book will become an essential resource for years to come.


“Nell Duke made a significant contribution to the field with her seminal research on the shortage of informational text in the early grades. Her work has single-handedly influenced one of the largest shifts in classroom practice. After reading this book, I’m convinced that her more recent focus on project-based instruction will make an equally significant contribution. It’s powerful thinking that will undoubtedly influence another major shift in the way teachers teach and children learn.”
—Kristin De Vivo, Executive Director, The George Lucas Educational Foundation

“Nell Duke is that rarest of species: a top-rank researcher who can roll up her sleeves and teach a class at a moment's notice. Her latest contribution couldn't be more timely. It is a practical guide to meeting standards through genuine, student-driven inquiry. See how kids can dig deeply into all kinds of texts, find the evidence they need, deliver the goods, and sometimes change the world, using a process that's (dare I say it?) engaging and fun.”
—Harvey "Smokey" Daniels, coauthor of Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America's Classrooms, Fourth Edition

Teacher Tips

From the Author~
NONFICTION IS NOT A GENRE: I have read and heard many people refer to nonfiction as a genre. Nonfiction is not a genre. Whether genres are defined by their purpose—which is the current preference in the field—or by their form and features, or both, there are many nonfiction genres. For example, a story about what I did over the weekend is nonfiction, but it has a different purpose and different form and features, and is read differently, than an informative/explanatory text about, say, different kinds of things people do on weekends. In fact, in many respects nonfiction narrative has more in common with fictional narrative than with informative/explanatory text. I encourage you to go beyond the label of "nonfiction" to more specific categories of text in your teaching and to be highly skeptical of professional development that refers to "the nonfiction genre."

About the Author

Nell K. Duke Ed.D.
Professor of literacy, language, and culture and in the combined program of education and psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Duke’s award-winning research focuses on early literacy development.

Product Details

  • Item #: NTS566768
  • ISBN13: 9780545667685
  • Format: Professional Book
  • Pages: 208
  • Genre:
    Functional and How-To
  • Grades: K - 5
  • Funding Type:
    Title I, Part A,
    Title II, Part A,
    Title II, Part B, Learn,
    Title III

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