Story of My Thinking, The

  • Title:Story of My Thinking, The: Expository Writing Activities for 13 Teaching Situations
  • Author:Gretchen Bernabei, Dorothy N. Hall
  • Publication Date:September 2012
  • Grade Level:4-12
  • ISBN:9780325042398
  • Publisher:Heinemann

In their signature easy-to-implement style, Gretchen Bernabei and Dorothy Hall offer new options for teaching expository writing that more realistically match the way readers actually think and writers actually write.  While many state assessments as well as the Common Core ask students to write about their opinions, the goal in The Story of My Thinking is to help teachers take their kids through the various stages of the writing process (from generating ideas to publication) in a way that breaks down the barrier between “academic” writing and “creative” writing and helps kids produce vibrant nonfiction with voice and conviction.

The Story of My Thinking provides 13 writing activities for familiar teaching situations, with step-by-step lessons that help you bridge the gap between narrative and informative writing. Using the same classroom-tested strategies that made Crunchtime a bestseller, the authors give the flexibility of dipping in and out of the lessons as you need them.  For example, “If you want them to explore topics for deep development and systemic growth,” use Gretchen’s “Inner Streams/Gritty Life” activity along with the tools that help students plan their thinking.  Choose the lesson that matches your teaching situation today, and then another one tomorrow.

When authentic, personal experiences replace canned, pre-written topics, and students are provided with structures that reflect how readers read, their writing transforms from formulaic to passionate.  And when students have plenty of chances to write about topics that are meaningful to them, in a variety of ways, for a variety of situations, then they will be ready for any writing assignment.

A popular workshop presenter and winner of NCTE’s James Moffett Award in 2010, Gretchen Bernabei has been teaching kids to write in middle school and high school classrooms for more than thirty years. An author and an educator, Gretchen’s books include: Why We Must Run with Scissors; Reviving the Essay; Lightning in a Bottle (DVD); Ba-Da-Bing (DVD) Crunchtime, The Story of My Thinking, Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning and Grammar Keepers. _____________________________________________________________________________________

Author Bio

A popular workshop presenter and winner of NCTE’s James Moffett Award in 2010, Gretchen Bernabei has taught middle school and high school for 34 years. She has devoted her professional life to learning, developing, and sharing best practices, particularly through the National Writing Projects.

Visit Gretchen’s Writing Tools Blog!

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