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The Big Book of Literacy Tasks, Grades K-8

75 Balanced Literacy Activities Students Do (Not You!)

With 75 tasks on beautiful full-color pages, this book offers a literacy instruction plan that ensures students benefit from independent effort and engagement.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506389639
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 216
  • Publication date: March 21, 2018

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.


The Comprehensive Handbook for Scaffolding Students’ Literacy Growth

Our readers and writers must “do the doing” if they are to succeed. In The Big Book of Literacy Tasks, Nancy Akhavan offers an instructional plan designed to yield independent effort and engagement. 75 tasks in beautiful full-color two-pagers ensure gradual release by moving more swiftly from the “I do” teacher phase to the “you do,” when students benefit from the healthy amount of struggle that is the hallmark of learning. (And spoiler alert: you kick the habit of hovering, over-explaining, and rescuing!)

Backed by research and thoughtfully arranged to make day-to-day planning easier, this groundbreaking book provides:

  • Reading and writing tasks organized into 3 sections—everyday skills, weekly practices, and sometime engagements requiring greater complexity
  • Mini-lessons that are essential— whether you use a reading program, a workshop approach, or are just transitioning to Balanced Literacy
  • Colorful teaching charts allowing you to quickly grasp the high points of each lesson
  • A clear task structure for introducing and managing the stages as you move students toward independent practice
  • Mid-task “Watch Fors” and “Work Arounds” showing how to coach without risking helicopter teaching
  • Amazing scaffolding tips for meeting the needs of a range of learners
  • Sample student work that offers valuable insights on how to use the tasks as formative assessments

Practical and engaging, The Big Book of Literacy Tasks gives you a clear framework for “working the minds” of your students, helping them forge their own path to becoming better readers and writers.



Nancy Akhavan photo

Nancy Akhavan

Dr. Nancy Akhavan has spent more than 30 years as an educator and consultant. Her work focuses on student support through literacy instruction and intervention, English Language Development, leadership development and organizational systems to increase student achievement. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Fresno State. She is the founder of Nancy Akhavan Consulting, Inc. Dr. Akhavan has been a bilingual teacher, principal of three schools, and a district administrator of a large urban district for ELA, Math, Social Studies, Science and World Languages. She also served as Assistant Superintendent Secondary Division in a large urban school district. Dr. Akhavan is recognized for her expertise in teaching literacy practices and has published twelve books that focus on instruction that increases student achievement, and has worked with districts and county offices in multiple states and internationally to increase student achievement in reading, writing, and in content areas.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Section One: Everyday Tasks for Reading, Writing, and Thinking

1. A New Spin on Who, What, Why, When, and Where

2. Making Predictions to Help Comprehension

3. Journal Writing After Reading

4. Make a Connection to the World When Reading a Text Independently

5. Quoting an Important Idea in a Nonfi ction Text

6. Name Character Motives and Actions

7. Name Rising Plot

8. Name Plot Resolution

9. Tell the Text

10. Dig Deeper Into the Text

11. Guided Comprehension Talks

12. Elaborate and Clarify Meaning

13. Setting Routines for Independent Reading

14. Fixing Up When Attention Wanders

15. Communicating Your Heads-Up Ball Approach

16. Answering a Text-Dependent Question

17. Tell Why (You Think, Believe, Remember, Know) With Why Messages

18. Make a Bold Statement About a Text

19. Extend Thinking When Discussing a Text

20. One-Liners for Nonfi ction Texts

21. Crystal Ball Predictions

22. Yesterday’s News

23. Annotate Text

24. Sentence Strip Statements

25. Write Questions About Reading

26. Super Cool Three Steps to Describe an Experience

27. Getting Kids to Write: Wonderful Concentration

28. Sketch to Write

29. Getting Help From Another Writer: Write Dialogue in Narratives and Quotes in Reports

30. Getting Help From Another Writer: Write a Hook

31. The Right Amount of Details, The Right Amount of Clarity

32. Thinking Small to Write Well

33. Writing a Jot About What Was Read

34. Works Too Long and Never Gets Any Writing Done

35. Dialogue Journals

Section Two: Weekly Tasks for Reading, Writing, and Thinking

36. A nalyze for Author’s Purpose With a Text That Is a Little Too Hard for Students to Read on Their Own

37. Create a Structured Outline of a Text

38. Collecting Research and Organizing Notes for Writing

39. Plot Summary Snapshots

40. Writing Information in a New Format

41. Stay on Point in Writing

42. Productive Use of the Author’s Chair

43. Write a Short Research Report

44. Write an All About Text

45. Your Students Have a Voice: Writing an Opinion Text

46. Arguing the Solution to a Problematic Situation

47. Writing the Recipe for Success: How-to Texts

48. Writing Explanations, Be Like an Encyclopedia

49. Inquiry for Smart Minds

50. Responding to Literature With Some Kick to It

Section Three: Sometime Tasks for Reading, Writing, and Thinking

51. Identify Theme in a Complex Text

52. Posing Questions for Easier Inquiry

53. Writing a Fable or Myth

54. Writing a Fairy Tale

55. Justifying an Answer With a Claim and Evidence

56. Use Known Info to Help Others Learn New Info

57. Connecting Ideas Between Texts

58. Identifying Real Facts From Made-Up Facts: Fallacious Reasoning

59. Brainstorming Multiple Valid Answers/Responses

60. Concept Mapping Between Big Ideas

61. Make Me Ponder: Questions That Get the Thinking Juices Flowing

62. Writing Compare and Contrast Response to Literature

63. Peer-to-Peer Analysis and Response

64. Critique a Functional Document or Text

65. Visible and Visual: Use Known Concepts and Vocabulary to Understand a Text

66. Summarize a Text That Is a Little Too Hard for Students to Read on Their Own

67. Student Think-Alouds

68. Separate Central Idea From a Big Idea

69. Writing in Different Genres or Multimedia to Engage and Persuade

70. Creative Debate

71. I Am a Reader

72. I Am a Writer

73. Look Up

74. Goodbye, Perfect Teacher

75. Teacher and Learner

References and Further Reading


Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.