When Lucy and her coauthors worked on the Units of Study, they to make a choice whether to “make shoes that fit—or shoes to grow into.” They chose the latter, writing that curriculum for kids who are growing up within Units of Study writing workshops. This means that each Unit of Study assumes students have experienced the unit that came before it. But that, of course, won’t be the case for upper-grade students entering writing workshop for the first time.
The TCRWP staff spent a long time studying how to successfully accelerate children’s growth in narrative, information, and opinion writing. They analyzed the progression of skills taught across elementary and middle-school grades, identified the most critical foundational skills for each of the three genres, and then devised the Up the Ladder units to give students a clear pathway to support the development of these key skills.
Three Units of Study, each 20-22 sessions in length, that correspond to the 3 writing types taught in the Units of Study, grades K-5: narrative, information, and opinion writing.
The Guide orients teachers to the Up the Ladder books, providing guidance on the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective writing workshop instruction.
QR codes at point-of-use link to videos featuring TCRWP Staff Developers modeling how to teach each minilesson.
The teaching points for each day’s instruction are illustrated on large-format sticky notes to help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across the units.
The Online Resources include downloadable anchor charts, paper-choice templates, mentor texts, student checklists, samples of student work, and more.
Spanish translations of resources include anchor charts, and illustrated student checklists for narrative, information, and opinion writing.
Note that Up the Ladder units are not meant to be an alternative to the core Units of Study, but rather a ramp to accelerate kids to the grade-level work they will do in those units.