Read Like Writers: Using the Study of Craft Techniques to Strengthen All Writing in Grades K-8

July 15–18, 2019, 8:00 am–3:45 pm

Location: Lesley University, University Hall, 1815 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140. Find a place to stay.

Help students learn how to read like writers while creating the opportunities and providing the teaching they need to build powerful writing systems over time.  Strengthen your practice by developing a vision for your writers and use authentic assessments to inform your decisions as a teacher of writing.    

Writing teacher and author of Poems are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, and Lesley University faculty will guide you in your thinking around these topics.

You can take the institute for noncredit and earn 24 professional development hours, or take it for 2 or 3 graduate credits.

Hosted by the Lesley University Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.

  • Featured Speaker

    Author of Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater also writes books for children. Her titles include Forest Has a Song, Every Day Birds, Read! Read! Read!, and With My Hands, and her poems appear in many anthologies. A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, former fifth grade teacher, and writing teacher of 20 years, Amy leads school assemblies, offers writing workshops for all ages, and speaks frequently at conferences. She makes her home in Western New York, sharing snips of life at her popular classroom blog and on Twitter @amylvpoemfarm.

  • Course Outcomes
    • Create visions for your students as writers 
    • Explore the writing process 
    • Learn about inquiry in the writers’ workshop 
    • Discover characteristics of good writing 
    • Craft techniques such as finding ideas, choosing titles, structuring texts, crafting beginnings and endings 
    • Assess writing and writing conferences
  • Required Texts

    If you're taking the institute for noncredit, these required professional texts are included in your registration cost. You'll receive these texts when you arrive at the institute.

    • The ​Fountas ​& ​Pinnell ​Literacy ​Continuum: ​Expanded ​Edition by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
    • Poems are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    If you're registering for the Summer Literacy Institute for graduate credit, you'll need to purchase the required texts during online registration for an additional $100 fee.

Cost and Registration

Noncredit (24 professional development hours)

2 or 3 Graduate Credits (with assignment + fees)

  • Both course sections can be taken for either 2 or 3 credits
  • 2 credits: $2,090; 3 credits: $3,065 ($975/credit + $40 registration fee + $100 for required texts). See tuition discounts.
  • Primary Institute (Grades K–2) course number: EEDUC 6020
  • Intermediate/Middle Institute (Grades 3–8) course number: EEDUC 6030
  • Contact to learn how to register for graduate credit.
"The training last year at the Summer Institute was easily the most impactful professional learning of my 13-year teaching career...this training transformed my teaching. I am even more hopeful that this will transform our school. Other teachers are implementing the work from last summer, and our school is sending a different set of teachers this summer to learn, grow, and be inspired."
Kristina Becker, Primary Teacher, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cancellation Deadlines & Refund Policies


You must cancel in writing by July 1, 2019 to get a refund, minus a $50 processing fee. Email to cancel. If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute at any time. Regardless of weather conditions, if the event is held but you cannot attend, you will be billed for the full amount.

If you switch from noncredit to taking the Institute for credit, you must submit the Graduate Credit Form (PDF) to the University Registrar before 3:00 pm on day 2 of the Institute: July 16, 2019. Learn more about registering for graduate credit.

Graduate Credit

  • If you're taking the Institute for credit, you may cancel your registration up until the Friday before the Institute begins: July 12, 2019. You'll be refunded your fee in full, minus the $40 registration fee.
  • Lesley University policy does not allow retroactive withdrawals or refunds. Once the course has begun, there is no refund of any kind.
  • Review the university's cancellation and refund policies for credit-bearing courses.
Contact Us
Please contact the Center for Reading Recovery & Literacy Collaborative if you have any questions.