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Research Writing Rewired

Research Writing Rewired
Lessons That Ground Students’ Digital Learning

Foreword by Peter Smagorinsky

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October 2015 | 264 pages | Corwin

Our students are online constantly, and yet research shows that only half of teachers say digital tools make writing instruction easier. Research Writing Rewired seeks to turn that statistic upside down. 

Or, rather, upside right: If we want to ready students for a globalized world, 100% of teachers ought to consider technology an asset to any kind of writing, assert authors Dawn Reed and Troy Hicks. But the “main wiring” still has to be the ELA standards and the essential questions at the heart of each content area. To that end, the authors show you how to use digital tools within a multi-week inquiry unit to increase students’ engagement as they write-to-learn and share knowledge. Their book a clear model for tech-rich research writing that will inform your own inquiry-driven units. Guiding components include:

  • An inquiry-based, technology-rich unit on identity and culture that provides learners with opportunities to engage with the very same issues that are written about and discussed by citizens of a global society

  • 28 model lessons and a framework including extensions, tech tips, and activities that blend print, image, apps, and video so students build multi-literacy skills day by day

  • Recurring use of best practices like formative assessment, close reading, think alouds and teaching key skills, including analyzing and synthesizing, annotating, checking credibility of sources, discussion, and writing about reading 

  • Dozens of lessons and activities built around students’ favorite technology tools and online destinations, including: Citelighter, Smore, ThingLink, Padlet, and Cazles, Animoto,, and getLoupe, Genius and Lit Genius, Now Comment, You Voices
  • QR codes that take you to video clips on a companion website, so you can see the teaching techniques and digital tools in action

It’s up to us to make the digital learning in school a lot more like the digital learning we all do in life. Research Writing Rewired shows us how to channel students’ passion for digital communication into meeting ELA goals. 

At-a-Glance Lesson Summaries
Foreword by Peter Smagorinsky
Preface: Reading, Writing, and Inquiry With Adolescents
Why “Rewire” Research Writing?  
The Contents of This Book  
Our Guiding Principles  
Introduction: Framing Student Inquiry
Considering Our Goals  
The Big Picture: Broad Curricular Considerations  
Additional Curricular Components  
Final Considerations  
Chapter 1. Introducing Research, Inquiry, and Connected Learning
Preview Lesson: Thinking Through a Cultural Lens  
Lessons for Week 1  
Lesson 1. Exploring Digital Identities  
Lesson 2. Cultural Conversations Online: Joining Youth Voices and Reading Collaboratively  
Lesson 3. Beginning the Cultural Conversation  
Lesson 4. Exploring Visual Culture Through Food Wrappers and Analyzing Visual Culture  
Lesson 5. Introducing Ethnography and the Culture Collage Assignment  
Reflections on Embracing Inquiry in the Connected Classroom  
Chapter 2. Getting Started With Inquiry Work: Visual Literacy and Literature Circles
Lessons for Week 2  
Lesson 6. Visual Literacy and Design  
Lesson 7. Culture Collage Sharing  
Lesson 8. Literature Circles  
Lesson 9. Fashion and Image in American Culture  
Lesson 10. Reading Images: Fact or Fiction?  
Lesson 11. Personal Inquiry Reflections  
Reflections on Mentor Texts for Analysis and Developing Inquiry Questions  
Chapter 3. Laying the Groundwork for Research Writing: Developing Close Reading Skills and Organizing Digital Spaces
Lessons for Week 3  
Lesson 12. Literature Circle Meeting 1: Engaging in Active Discussions  
Lesson 13. Self-Assessment and Reflection  
Lesson 14. Language in American Culture  
Lesson 15. Literature Circle Meeting 2: Close Reading of Passages  
Lesson 16. Questioning and Speculating  
Reflections on Developing Close Reading Skills and Organizing Digital Spaces  
Chapter 4. Embarking on the Inquiry-Based Research Essay: Collaboration, Citation, and Credibility
Key Features of the Inquiry-Based Research Essay Assignment  
Lessons for Week 4  
Lesson 17. Literature Circle Meeting 3: Intertextual Connections  
Lesson 18. Researching Skills and Tips: Exploring Sources  
Lesson 19. Researching (Online and in the Library Media Center)  
Lesson 20. Writing and Researching Workshop  
Reflections on the Research Process  
Chapter 5. Writing Workshop and Media Projects: Responding, Revising, and Reflecting
Lessons for Week 5  
Lesson 21. Literature Circle Meeting 4: Final Thoughts and Reflection  
Lesson 22. Writing Workshop and Peer Response  
Lesson 23. Media Work  
Lesson 24. Cultural Questions and Media Literacy  
Lesson 25. Workshop: Inquiry-Based Research Essay and Media Projects  
Lesson 26. Reflection and Publication of the Inquiry-Based Research Essay  
Lesson 27. Exploring Basic Copyright Issues: Copyright, Fair Use, Creative Commons, and the Public Domain  
Lesson 28. Reflecting, Sharing, and Celebrating the Final Media Project  
Reflections on the Writing Process  
Chapter 6. Final Reflections and Conclusions
Assessment: A Flexible, Rhetorical Approach  
Purposeful Technology Integration  
References and Further Reading
About the Authors

For instructors

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