Up the Ladder Reading: NonFiction Bundle : 9780325112749

Up the Ladder Reading: NonFiction Bundle

Janet L. Steinberg, Alexandra Roman, Mik
Published by
Heinemann USA
Available on demand
Title type
Up the Ladder Reading: Nonfiction is for upper-grade readers—and teachers—who are new to the norms and culture of reading workshop, and for readers who would benefit from foundational instruction in the skills of reading nonfiction. By instilling strong habits and routines, this unit will support students in taking charge of their own reading lives and reading nonfiction with curiosity and engagement as they learn deeply about the world around them.

The unit:
  • reinforces the critical structure of read-aloud, utilising nonfiction texts woven into the minilessons to model the essential skills of determining main/central ideas, monitoring for meaning, and drawing on fiction reading skills when reading narrative nonfiction;
  • invites readers to engage in shared understanding and idea-building through reading partnerships;
  • teaches students to recognise and select appropriately levelled, just-right nonfiction books with agency and independence;
  • supports readers in tackling higher levels of text complexity, utilising running records and performance assessments to gauge students’ accuracy and ability to do higher-level comprehension work;
  • builds capacity for writing about reading through flagging, jotting ideas, and pausing to reflect and grow thinking around books.
Students will come away from this unit as reinvigorated, changed readers—seeing themselves, their nonfiction books, and their world differently.

While these units are ideal for use with students in intermediate grades, specific guidelines are offered in the online resources to help teachers adapt instruction for middle school readers.
Series overview
When Lucy and her coauthors worked on the Units of Study, they had 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 reading and writing workshops. This means that each unit assumes students have experienced the unit that came before it. But that, of course, won’t be the case for upper-grade students entering reading and writing workshops for the first time.

The Up the Ladder books are designed to help classes with upper-grade students who are new to workshop instruction or who are currently working below benchmark levels. The units meet students where they are and accelerate the development of their skills in narrative, information, and opinion writing (in the 3 writing units), and fiction and nonfiction reading (in the 2 reading units).

The Up the Ladder units are designed to be absolutely engaging for students in grades 3 and up, but the primary goal has been to ensure that students make rapid, dramatic progress toward grade-level work. Lucy Calkins has analysed the progression of skills taught across elementary and middle-school grades, identified the most critical foundational skills, and then devised the Up the Ladder units to give students a clear pathway to support the development of these key skills.

Preview samples

Visit the Lucy Calkins site where you can discover all the latest components in this series and preview samples.