Location: Australia |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.


Read, Talk, Write

35 Lessons That Teach Students to Analyze Fiction and Nonfiction
By: Laura Robb

Foreword by Harvey "Smokey" Daniels

In Read, Talk, Write, Laura Robb brings her trademark practicality with 35 lessons and reproducibles that ensure your students succeed as well as love what they do.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506339573
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 272
  • Publication date: September 16, 2016

Price: $32.95



“This book reminds us why Laura Robb continues to be such an important voice in our field: She looks through kids’ eyes and sees into their futures. Literary conversations don’t just enrich kids days; they offer young people gifts that keep on giving: the ability to take risks, exercise creativity, build empathy, and develop the ability to negotiate.”
—from the foreword by Harvey “Smokey” Daniels

When you get right down to it, literacy comes down to this: read, talk, write. But as every teacher knows, it can be hard for students to see and use these three moves in concert—until now. In Read, Talk, Write, Laura Robb lays out the classroom structures that create the time and space for students to have productive talk and written discourse about texts. With Laura’s guidance you’ll

  • Use short texts by Seymour Simon, Kathleen Krull, Priscilla Cummings, and other popular fiction and nonfiction authors to teach students how to analyze and converse about texts
  • Incorporate six kinds of talk into your instruction, including turn-and-talk, partner talks, and small-group discussions
  • Use the wealth of in-book and online reproducibles to help students facilitate their own comprehension-building discussions
  • Select from 35 lessons that address literary elements and devices, text structures, and comprehension strategies, and then use them to launch student-led talk about any text you teach
  • Help your readers get in a read-talk-write flow, and know how to move from reading to talking to writing, to bring about deeper thinking
  • Achieve high levels of performance around inferring, comparing and contrasting, summarizing and synthesizing, and other key skills by way of classroom conversations that make these advanced levels the norm

Key features

35 lessons

40 reproducibles

6 fiction and nonfiction texts by top authors to use for teaching, including Kathleen Krull and Seymour Simon



Laura Robb photo

Laura Robb

An author, teacher, coach, and speaker, LAURA ROBB has spent the last four decades in middle school education. What teachers appreciate most about Laura is her deep commitment to children and adolescents, and her ability to show what best-practice instruction looks like day by day; a survey conducted by Instructor magazine named Laura as one of the nation’s top twenty educators. Currently, in addition to her speaking and consulting, she works part time in grades K-8. She was named NCTE’s recipient of the 2016 Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Level Educator.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Aim 1. Introduce Students to Six Types of Comprehension-Building Conversations

Chapter 1. Talking About Texts: Getting Started

Lessons and Texts to Take Students From Talk to Literary Conversation

Five Benefits of Student-Centered Talk

Benefit 1: Talk Supports Recall and Comprehension

Benefit 2: Talk Engages and Motivates

Benefit 3: Interactive Talk Becomes a Model for In-the-Head Conversations

Benefit 4: Talk Activates Ideas for Writing About Reading

Benefit 5: Talk Changes How Students Think and Feel About Fiction and Nonfiction

The Research Support

Coming Full Circle With Literature Circles

Types of Talk and How They Fit Into the Lessons

Initiating Talk With Questions and Prompts

How to Craft Guiding Questions

How to Teach Students to Compose Interpretive Questions

Making Student Talk Productive

How to Build Trust

How to Help Students Initiate Discussion

How to Teach Students to Listen Actively

How to Use the Fishbowl Technique

How to Use Smart Notebooks

What’s Ahead

Reflect on Your Teaching

Chapter 2. Lessons for Teaching Six Types of Talk

How Literary Conversations Help Students

Texts for Talk-Based Reading Lessons

When to Use the Six Types

Tips for Managing Literary Conversations

Offer Prompts That Keep a Discussion Moving Forward

Provide a Timeframe

Reflect and Intervene

Set a Signal for Closing a Discussion

Lesson 2.1: Turn-and-Talk

Lesson in Action: Turn-and-Talk

Lesson 2.2: Whole-Class Discussions

Lesson in Action: Whole-Class Discussions

Lesson 2.3: Partner Talk

Lesson in Action: Partner Talk

Lesson 2.4: Small-Group Discussions

Lesson in Action: Small-Group Discussions

Lesson 2.5: In-the-Head Conversations

Lesson in Action: In-the-Head Conversations

Lesson 2.6: Teacher–Student Discussions

Lesson in Action: Teacher–Student Discussions

Chapter 3. Lessons That Build Comprehension Skills in Any Genre

Step 1: Mine Texts for Teaching Topics

Step 2: Plan Lessons

Step 3: Develop Effective Assessments

Ten Top-Notch Short Texts and Lessons

Getting-Ready Tips

Lesson 3.1: Inferring With Informational Text

Lesson 3.2: Exploring Interpretative Questions: Biography

Lesson 3.3: Determining the Author’s Purpose: Informational Text

Lesson 3.4: Why Characters Change: Small-Group Discussion Using a Short Story

Lesson 3.5: Prompting In-the-Head Conversations: Biography

Lesson 3.6: Teacher–Student Talk: Conferring

Reproducible Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

“Coming Clean” by Anina Robb

“Defying Gravity: Mae Jemison” by Anina Robb

“Hoops Tryouts” by Anina Robb

“How Ada Lovelace Leaped Into History” by Kathleen Krull

“How Athens Got Its Name” Retelling by Joanna Davis-Swing

“Isaac Newton and the Day He Discovered the Rainbow” by Kathleen Krull

“Making Scientists Into Climbers” (Excerpt From Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs) by Sandra Athans

“New Horizons in Space” by Seymour Simon

“Snow Day” by Priscilla Cummings

“Who Climbs Everest?” (Excerpt From Tales From the Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest With Pete Athans) by Sandra Athans

Aim 2. Teach Students to Read, Talk, and Write About Fiction

Chapter 4. Taking the Plunge: How to Talk and Write About Fiction

Exploring and Analyzing Fiction With Literary Elements

Building Knowledge of Key Literary Techniques

Some Key Literary Devices

Encouraging Students to Discuss Literary Elements and Techniques

Characteristics of Fictional Genres

From Talk to Writing

Brief Writing Tasks to Follow Talk

Writing About Reading

Model Lesson: The Importance of Inferring: “Snow Day” by Priscilla Cummings

Reflect on Your Teaching

Chapter 5. Going Deeper: How to Analyze Literary Elements

Offer Students Guided Practice

Moving From Talking to Writing

Literary Elements and Five Kinds of Conflict

Bundling Literary Elements

Teaching Tips for Literature-Based Lessons

Lesson 5.1: Protagonist and Antagonists

Model Lesson 5.1: Teaching Protagonist and Antagonists: “Hoops Tryouts” by Anina Robb

Lesson 5.2: Conflict, Plot, and Setting

Model Lesson 5.2: Teaching Conflict, Plot, and Setting: “Coming Clean” by Anina Robb

Lesson 5.3: Identifying Themes

Model Lesson 5.3: Teaching Theme: “Snow Day” by Priscilla Cummings

Lesson 5.4: Planning and Writing a Summary: Fiction

Model Lesson 5.4: Teaching Summary: Fiction: “Hoops Tryouts” by Anina Robb

Lesson 5.5: Compare and Contrast Notes

Model Lesson 5.5: Teaching Compare and Contrast Notes: “How Athens Got Its Name” Retelling by Joanna Davis-Swing

Aim 3. Teach Students to Read, Talk, and Write About Nonfiction

Chapter 6. Taking the Plunge: How to Talk and Write About Nonfiction

Seven Tips for Inspiring Students to Have Literary Conversations About Nonfiction

Teach Six Kinds of Context Clues

Lesson 6.1: Mining Text Features for Information

Identifying Text Structures to Build Understanding

Lesson 6.2: Teaching Text Structures

From Talk to Writing

Understanding the Structure of Nonfiction Genres

Reflect on Your Teaching

Chapter 7. Going Deeper: How to Analyze Nonfiction

Teaching Tips for Text-Based Lessons

Lesson 7.1: Taking Heading Notes and Finding a Main Idea

Model Lesson 7.1: Taking Heading Notes and Finding a Main Idea: “Who Climbs Everest?” (Excerpt From Tales From the Top of the World) by Sandra Athans

Lesson 7.2: Thinking About Issues: Obstacles

Model Lesson 7.2: Teaching About Obstacles: “How Ada Lovelace Leaped Into History” by Kathleen Krull

Lesson 7.3: Teaching the Problem-Solution Text Structure

Model Lesson 7.3: Teaching Problem-Solution: “New Horizons in Space” by Seymour Simon

Lesson 7.4: Personality Traits and a Person’s Achievements: Biography

Model Lesson 7.4: Teaching Personality Traits: “Defying Gravity: Mae Jemison” by Anina Robb and “Isaac Newton and the Day He Discovered the Rainbow” by Kathleen Krull

Lesson 7.5: Identifying Main Ideas

Model Lesson 7.5a: Teaching Explicitly Stated Main Ideas: “Who Climbs Everest?” (Excerpt From Tales From the Top of the World) by Sandra Athans

Model Lesson 7.5b: Teaching How to Infer Main Ideas: “Defying Gravity: Mae Jemison” by Anina Robb

Chapter 8. Reflecting on the Process of Read, Talk, Write

Four Key Skills

Skill 1: Taking Risks

Skill 2: Creativity

Skill 3: Empathy

Skill 4: The Ability to Negotiate

Writing Is Knowing

Making the Changeover

Take the First Steps

Climb That First Hill

Start Slowly Down the Hill

Continue Moving Along the Path

Picture Your Destination

Make a Teaching Investment With Student Paybacks

List of Top-Notch Books for Instruction and Class Libraries

Bibliography of Professional Materials




For Instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Related Resources

  • Access to companion resources is available with the purchase of this book.