Being a Writer


Materials Overview

Instructional Perspective

Student Perspective
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Do your students love writing and sharing their ideas?

The Being a Writer program aims to transform writing instruction by helping to create collaborative classrooms in which students develop both academically and socially as they build their knowledge of and appreciation for the craft of writing. This yearlong writing curriculum for grades K–5 combines two decades of research in the areas of writing, motivation, and learning theory with social and ethical development.

The program has two goals: to foster students’ growth as skilled writers and as caring members of the community. Based on the workshop model, the Being a Writer program builds each student’s inherent desire to communicate, create, and collaborate. With 19–30 carefully selected trade books per grade level for mentor texts, students learn the craft of writing as they read and listen to multiple genres and authors.

New Digital Tools and Teacher Support

The second edition of Being a Writer includes extensive digital resources and support for teachers to help them implement best practices. Purchase a classroom package to receive access to the digital Teacher's Manual, interactive whiteboard activities, online technology tutorials, mini-lessons, and the Student Skill Practice Book to reinforce language skills and conventions. The new DSC ClassView Assessment App and multiple-measure assessments provide a comprehensive view of student progress. 

Learn more about the second edition of Being a Writer, including changes by grade level. For details on the Being a Writer Grade 6 interim edition—including information on product updates and how to qualify for a free* upgrade to the final revised edition in spring 2016—click here.

The National Writing Project partners with DSC around Being a Writer

Districts implementing the Being a Writer program are partnering with local National Writing Project sites to provide long-term professional development that supports teachers as they develop their writing instruction skills and strategies. Rhonda Sutton of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writing Project noted that educators working with the Being a Writer program will find common ground with writing project work. Speaking on NWP Radio, she said “Being a Writer is about giving students the ability to write clearly, creatively, and purposefully for sustained periods of time. The instruction of the program supports the development of the writer rather than the writing.” You can read more about the partnership on the National Writing Project’s resource site.

The Being a Writer program aligns with the Common Core State Standards.

  • Students engage in units of study covering all the required genres: Opinion/Argument, Informative/Explanatory, and Narrative
  • Students write routinely for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences; the Writing Performance Task Preparation Guide provides additional guided practice
  • Writing About Reading activities help students read closely, analyze and synthesize information, and craft an assertion
  • The Skill Practice Teaching Guide provides 30 lessons to address the Common Core language skills with interactive whiteboard activities for each lesson
  • The Student Skill Practice Book contains 3 practice pages per skill (1 scorable), a Student Grammar Guide of definitions and examples, and language skills diagnostic tasks


For additional support correlating your instruction to the goals of the CCSS, you can also use our correlation tool. It allows you to search by either DSC program or CCSS standard to: identify all standards addressed in a selected DSC program within a unit, week, or lesson; or find which lessons in any DSC program address a selected standard.

1st Edition Supplemental Lessons for Common Core Alignment

DSC has produced new units, lessons, and extension activities that address specific Common Core standards not previously covered.

The new instructional materials support the following Common Core State Standards in Writing:

  • Standards 1, 4, 5, 9, 9a, 9b, and 10

These supplements are offered free of charge exclusively to users of the Being a Writer program. Click here to learn more.

Find Out More

Sample lessons  |  Purchasing options


*A 6% shipping fee applies to Being a Writer grade 6 interim edition free upgrade.