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Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction

Connecting Composing Strategies, Digital Literacies, and Disciplinary Content to the Common Core


Edited By Jenifer Jasinski Schneider

Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction is a collection of teaching cases that feature real teachers, real students, and real examples of K–6 writing instruction. Using student/teacher dialogue and reader-friendly narration, each case author describes a teacher’s use of print and/or media-based tools to teach students how to write for literacy and disciplinary purposes. Rather than focusing on one particular method, this book features multiple methods, such as writing workshop, 6+1 Traits, and balanced literacy, presented through authentic classroom examples. The book includes a view of writing instruction across grade levels, disciplines, and contexts. Current and future classroom teachers will be interested in the practical application and various viewpoints presented throughout the book. Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction could be used in teacher study groups, professional learning communities, undergraduate courses, Masters courses, and professional development seminars at the local, national, and international levels.
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18. The Rights to Write: How the Constitutional Convention Helped Students Compose (Sixth Grade)




This case describes one writing lesson from an integrated language arts and social studies unit on the Constitutional Convention. Mr. Sweeney, the classroom teacher, used the jigsaw method (Aronson, Blaney, Stephin, Sikes, & Snapp, 1978) as a means to disseminate information. He chose specific mentor texts—Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution, by Jean Fritz (1987); If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution, by Elizabeth Levy (1992); We the People: The Story of the Constitution, by Lynne Cheney (2008); A More Perfect Union: The Story of the Constitution, by Betsey Maestro (2008); and Designing America: The Constitutional Convention, by Sean Price (2007)—at a variety of Lexiles, to meet the needs of his diverse group of students.


• Sixth grade

• Public school: 100% minority students, 95% free or reduced lunch

• Class: 20 students, 11 males, 9 females, 20 African Americans, 12 students reading below grade level, 8 students who read at grade level

• Teacher [Mr. Sweeney]: White, male with 5 years’ experience ← 217 | 218 →

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