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Becoming a better writer begins with reading well-written books and trying what their authors do successfully. So why not help middle schoolers improve their writing by exposing them to mentor texts written just for them? Culham, Blasingame, and Coutu have selected 150 fiction and nonfiction books by master writers, annotated them, and organized them by trait. Each annotation explains what the book is about and why it's a good model. Twenty ready-to-use, literature-based lessons are also included. For use with Grades 6-8.
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About the Author

Ruth Culham, Ed.D., a pioneering researcher of the Trait Model, is president of Culham Writing Company, which offers practical, engaging workshops designed to help beginning and experienced teachers implement the model in K-12 classrooms. Prior to founding her company, Ruth was assessment program unit manager at Education Northwest (formerly Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory) and a teacher at Meadow Hill Middle School in Missoula, Montana, and Mountain View Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon. She was also English Teacher of the Year in Montana, a highlight of her 19-year teaching career. Ruth is the author of Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Middle School (Scholastic, 2010) and many other professional books for teachers.James Blasingame is an associate professor of English at Arizona State University where he specializes in young adult literature and the teaching of writing. He is also the 2010 president of NCTE's Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN). Prior to joining the university, Jim spent many years as a high school teacher and administrator. In addition to teaching, he writes extensively. He is the author of Books That Don't Bore 'Em: Young Adult Books That Speak to This Generation (Scholastic, 2007), creates the Books for Adolescents pages for each issue of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literature, and was coeditor of the ALAN Review. He also blogs about young adult literature for the Washington Post. Raymond Coutu has been developing, producing, and promoting professional materials for teachers for more than 20 years, first for Houghton Mifflin, then Heinemann, and currently Scholastic. He has also served as an editor on Instructor magazine, written books for children, and tutored children in reading and writing. He is the coauthor, with Ruth Culham, of the best-selling Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits: K-2, Getting Started With the Traits: K-2, and Getting Started With the Traits: 3-5, all published by Scholastic.

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