Integrate reading and writing in upper elementary

Integrate Reading and Writing Strategies for Upper Elementary

Combining subjects is a great way to gain more instruction time and help students to have a deeper understanding about a topic. It’s also going beyond just written response paragraphs to text based questions. If you have a limited time for teaching each subject, this integrated approach to reading & writing will help you cover everything!

Here are three ways I’ve integrated reading and writing:

  • Using a text as a mentor for writing a specific genre. In my mystery reading and writing unit, we start out analyzing picture books for parts of a mystery and move into a mystery novel study. At the end of our novel study, we start writing mysteries, using our understanding of the genre to help us. This approach also inspired a historical fiction unit and I used the same idea for science fiction when I taught A Wrinkle in Time to 5th grade. Oh, and my Love that Dog poetry unit! Read more about that here.
  • Using a text to write about a related topic. I time my read aloud of The One and Only Ivan to align with our opinion writing. Ivan’s story is a great jumpstart for determining if animals belong in zoos. Another example I have is using Number the Stars (novel study) and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (read aloud) to inspire our research about World War II. The bonus was combining fiction & nonfiction!
  • Using a text to model a skill. One of my favorite topics to teach students is about point of view and perspective in reading. We identify the point of view in the story and then try to figure out how other characters might be thinking and feeling. Last year, I used Memoirs of a Goldfish (which is free on Epic) for a point of view lesson. We took the writing further and had students think of another animal to write from their perspective. Get a free resource to try out this activity.

Integrating reading & writing can be a longer unit, or it can be something quick and easy. The goal is using both reading and writing strategies to show a deeper understanding of a topic. Plus, the bonus is you’re able to use your teaching time with maximum effect.

Longer units with plans & everything you need:

Mystery Genre Unit Reading and WritingHistorical Fiction Genre Unit Reading and Writing  Love that Dog Reading and Writing Bundle

Shorter reading & writing units:

Best Part of Me Reading and Writing Unit
Memoirs of a Goldfish Reading & Writing

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