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Deepening and Widening the Way We Teach Writing in K–8

Cover of positioning paper titled "Deepening and Widening the Way We Teach Writing in K–8."

In order to write, we must write about something. We cannot write well, and we cannot write clearly or interestingly about something for which we lack the vocabulary.

This whitepaper discusses strategies for supporting students in overcoming this challenge of prior knowledge.


  • Research-backed strategies for teaching writing in Grades K–8
  • Actionable tactics for giving students access to background knowledge before they begin
  • Suggestions for how to expand writing instruction beyond the writing block and into content areas

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About the Author

Dr. Jim Cunningham

Dr. Jim Cunningham is Professor Emeritus of Literacy Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an elected member of the Reading Hall of Fame.