I Read to Write

Analyzing nonfiction text is something that we have been focusing on this year with the full implementation of CCSS.  I am always on the look out for new resources to help me with this, and when Zaner-Bloser contacted me to review their new "I Read to Write Kits", I jumped on the opportunity.

Disclaimer:  Zaner-Bloser sent me a class set of these kits in exchange for an honest review.  Though they did send them to me, the thoughts on the program below are my own and not influenced in any way by this.

The I Read to Write kits are consumable workbooks for the students to use to dive into text.  There are three units in the 5th grade level, one about Space Exploration, one about the American Revolution, and another about Sports that use math.  Each of the stories are highly engaging and very relevant to what my students are interested in (and what I am interested in as a teacher....hello American Revolution!!)

I have been using these with my class to get them to read closer in the text.  We annotate the text, writing purpose questions, underlining key details to support main idea, answer text dependent questions, and construct short answers about the text.  There is also a writing portion that has the kids writing either a narrative, opinion piece, or informational text based on the three reading passages in the unit.

Here are the pros to this program:
*  The Teacher's Guide is included.  This is really, really awesome.  While I was still able to teach them my own strategies (ie: writing the purpose of the reading and finding main idea each time), the TG gave me additional strategies specific to the story that I could incorporate.

*  They are consumable.  The students could write directly on the book.  The pages are in full color, making text features easy to see and gave the close reading a sort of novelty for the kids.

*  They are aligned to common core standards.  With the CCSS being so new for everyone, having something that hits multiple standards, as well as helps get them test-ready is very welcome in my classroom.

Here are the cons to the program:
*  They are consumable.  While I really do love this feature, that means that I can only use them with one class of students.  As a teacher, that could get very costly for me if I am purchasing a class set on my own.    

*  The writing portion is a bit unscaffolded for me.  There are writing organizers, but I would have loved if there was some help getting the kids to actually show text evidence in their writing.  This could definitely be a personal preference issue, but I would like a bit more help here in this area with my students.

Overall, I am so very happy to have had this program to use with my students.  I feel like it was very beneficial and truly did help my kids to have another set of texts to use to dig into.  I liked the text dependent questions and the fact that the kids had to write short answers as well as answer multiple choice questions.  I feel that these books have been a good resource to have in my room and have added to my repertoire of what I can use with my students.

The Kits are $29.95 for a set of 5, or a class set for $175.  You can also request a FREE SAMPLE HERE!
If you would like more information about the I Read to Write kits, which are available in grades 2-6,  you can find visit their website here


  1. Thanks for the information! I have requested a sample.

  2. Our Science and Social Studies curriculum worked this way and the students really enjoyed being able to write in their books. I especially loved it during my Text Features unit! :)

    Fishing for Education Blog


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