Make a List Book Review November 17 2009


A TRC original, Make a List: Words and Ideas to Support Writing by Nancy Hanssen and Kim Scattareggia is a wonderful resource for anyone ready to build students' writing skills and appreciation.

Make a List is clear and easy to use, beginning with a Table of Contents organized by the lists available each month, from September through August. Intended for Kindergarten and First Grade students and teachers, the authors were inspired and challenged to answer the question, "What does it mean to be 'ready to write'?"

This resource is so much more than a "list of words" you can use throughout the year. The usual section reserved for How To Use This Book instead asks, What is Writer's Workshop? Then the following few pages outline very clearly setting up a routine, identifying the tools you and your students will need to get started, and how to use the word lists.

Part of Writer's Workshop is publishing, and the authors give suggestions for making and displaying published books. This section reminded me of when my oldest son was in first grade - I helped with the Publishing process in the classroom, typing up childrens' manuscripts for them to illustrate later in the week. Consider recruiting a parent or two to type up a student's book and email it to you to print out - it's fast and easy!

The modeled and sample lessons follow, providing insight as to how the routine might work in your room. There is a week provided that details how a teacher and students might use a particular word list during writing time. After this, the actual word lists begin, accompanied by Literature Connections a Modeled Writing Sample, Teaching Points and Springboard for Writing

My favorite part about this resource is that it flows with the seasons, and I am in tune with the seasonal changes throughout the year. I like to emphasize the seasons with my students and Make a List gives me a tool to use that supports writing, is easy to use, and provides a holiday theme that crosses curriculum. What a great way to write through the year!