New Units of Study Coming Soon!

We are excited to announce that four new Units of Study books, edited by Lucy Calkins, are in the works. The new books include two in writing—information writing for grade two and literary essay for grade five, and two in reading—word detectives for grade one and mystery for grade three.

The new books will be released separately, and can serve as self-contained, one shot units. They have also been designed to fit squarely into the existent Units of Study series. Each of these units provides more foundational preparation for students who need it once they’ve completed the first unit of a set, before moving on to the second. Certain units, like Literary Essay, could also be taught later in the year.

The Word Detectives unit, coauthored by Elizabeth Franco and Havilah Jespersen, provides a foundational-focus at the start of the year to support young readers with orchestrating reading process. First grade is a monumental year for reading. Kids make leaps and bounds, moving from reading list-like pattern books to chapter books. Teachers will learn how to support their young word-solvers with monitoring, searching and cross-checking to read with greater accuracy, all the while building meaning to read with strong comprehension. This book sets the stage for Grade 1 Book 3: Readers Have Big Jobs to Do, a unit that supports the work transitional readers need to do as they move into longer and more complex texts—reading with accuracy, fluency and comprehension.

The new second grade information writing unit, coauthored by Jennifer DeSutter and Valerie Geschwind, gives students an opportunity to practice structuring and developing nonfiction chapter books on topics of personal expertise. Students will have opportunities to write many nonfiction books in this unit, first quickly, using all they know, then carefully, lifting the level of both complexity of information and craft as they practice writing for an intended audience. This unit can serve as a prequel to Book 2: Lab Reports, in which students write books on research-based topics. The unit also serves as a transition between the first and third grade nonfiction writing units.

The third grade mystery unit, coauthored by Brooke Geller and Alissa Levy, provides an opportunity to hook readers into new series—many of which, at levels K-O, are mostly plot driven—while also providing children the chance to practice the foundational skills they need at the start of third grade. This book draws on much of what has made Mystery Book Clubs a longtime favorite third grade unit. It revisits some of the foundational reading work of Building a Reading Life, and deepens students’ literal comprehension before the more interpretive and analytical comprehension work begins. Throughout this unit, teachers and students will work with many of the literal strands of the reading learning progression.

The fifth grade literary essay unit is designed to strengthen students’ analytic reading and writing skills. This new unit, coauthored by Katie Clements and Mike Ochs, aims to help students write well off a variety of texts: digital, print, narrative, expository. The unit draws on some of students’ narrative writing skills, and it builds on their opinion writing skills from the Grade 4 unit on boxes and bullets and literary essay. It also builds off of the Interpretation Book Club unit. Although this unit has been written to follow Narrative Craft, it could just as easily be taught later in the year.

These four new books will be released beginning in late spring or early summer of this year. Stay tuned!