Five Best Books To Help Students Improve Their Writing Skills

In my previous post, I shared my top 06 recommended books that every English teacher must read to improve her students’ reading skills. In this post, I am sharing my top 05 recommended books that have helped me improve my students’ writing skills.

Remember, it is not about reading a book and then leaving it on your bookshelf. Reading the books on this list will be like rubbing “Aladdin’s Magic Lamp”, so make sure you ‘rub the magic lamp’ meaning implement what you learn from these books.

So, without further ado, here are the 05 best books that will help your students improve their writing skills in any genre:

  1. The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers
  2. Teaching Writing
  3. Writing Fabulous Sentences And Paragraphs, Grades 4-6
  4. Getting Started with Middle School Sentence Composing: A Student Worktext
  5. Paragraphs for Middle School: A Sentence-Composing Approach

Book 01. The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers

The #1 Bestseller on Amazon, The Writing Strategies Book is jam-packed with 300 writing strategies organized under 10 writing goals that you can implement in your class and see your students’ writing grow. As Serravallo writes, “You can think of the goals as the what and the strategies as the how”, the book not only guides you in deciding what writing goals you should be working on with your students, but also tells you how to achieve those writing goals. 

This book helps you empower your students and develop essential writing skills across different genres. Each writing goal comes with 20 – 40 writing strategies along with relevant teaching tips, genre & text type, targeted skills, lesson language, visuals in the form of anchor charts and writing samples, and writing prompts for teachers to easily teach the chosen strategies.

The best thing about The Writing Strategies Book and The Reading Strategies Book is that you can choose different strategies to teach your students according to their needs and eventually have them create their own learning strategies toolkit as they progress.

If you are an English teacher and would like to turn the tables, you may purchase The Writing Strategies Book HERE.

Book 02. Teaching Writing

One of the best books by the great Lucy Calkins, Teaching Writing summarizes Lucy Calkin’s commendable work that spans over thirty years. Teaching Writing introduces us to the Writing workshop method, the writing process, types of writing, writing conferences, and writing assessment.

The book has not failed to inspire a single teacher to date. In this book, Calkins invites us to see the writing process through various perspectives a.k.a lenses. She shares the essence of the writing workshop, how to implement it, and how to assess students’ writing. 

Whether you follow the workshop model or not, reading Teaching Writing will change the way you teach writing. To learn the very best of teaching writing from the best of the best, you can click HERE and place your order.

Book 03. Writing Fabulous Sentences And Paragraphs, Grades 4-6

“I don’t know how to help these students improve their writing skills!” “They are in middle school and are still struggling to write better sentences and paragraphs!” If any of the above sentences reflects your teaching struggles, then this book is for you. Writing Fabulous Sentences And Paragraphs by Evan Moor offers creative lessons, activities, and scaffolds to help you teach sentence writing, paragraph writing, and multiple paragraph passages. The activities are highly engaging and the lessons take the work out of your lesson planning. 

The exercises in this book align with the Writing Traits system, offer teacher tips & instructions, and student forms. 

If you wish to DIFFERENTIATE your writing instruction to help those struggling writers improve their sentence structure and paragraph writing skills, you can buy your copy HERE.

Book 04. Getting Started with Middle School Sentence Composing: A Student Worktext

Getting Started with Middle School Sentence Composing is a great book by Don Killgallon and Jenny Killgallon who share the power of literature in teaching young middle school writers the art of crafting powerful sentences. By sharing the model sentences from literature, they crack open the secret techniques great writers use to add variety to their sentences. As the authors name them, these secret techniques are:

  • Sentence Openers
  • Sentence Splits
  • Sentence Closers
  • Mixes

To demonstrate each of the sentence writing techniques, the authors explain the author’s use of the writing technique in the model sentence, share the imitated sentence examples, and invite the readers to try the writer technique on their own.

If you are tired of reading the same simple sentences in your students’ writing and want to enable them to grow as writers, this book is a great starting point. Remember, the foundation of the system introduced in the book is ‘imitation of the author’s style’ and as it is a worktext, your students will have ample opportunity to practice the targeted sentence composing skills. To help your students improve their sentence writing craft, you may purchase the book HERE.

Book 05. Paragraphs for Middle School: A Sentence-Composing Approach

In this book, Killgallons help teachers understand the basics of creating strong paragraphs and how creating strong sentences forms the basis of creating interesting and meaningful paragraphs. In the book, the authors teach teachers how they can help their students to elaborate their sentences, add detail, and create paragraphs. The authors share mentor/model sentences centered around a specific writing skill and then invite readers to notice the authors’ writing secret or ‘the magic formula’ they used while creating the sentences of such type. After that, students are invited to use the ‘magic formula’ in their own sentences and practice the skill. Teachers can also access the Teacher’s Guide to go with this book. It surely is a great resource for any language teacher, and if you wish to give it a try, you may purchase it HERE.

If you happen to try any strategies from any of these books to improve writing skills, I would love to read your comments in the comments section.

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