The most frequently asked question about In the Middle is, “What’s new in the third edition?” The second edition published 17 years ago, so we know a lot is new because Nancie Atwell has continued to innovate since then.
So we challenged ourselves to answer the question. We asked one of our editors to read both the second and third editions side by side, page for page, and report back. In short: In the Middle, Third Edition, more than lives up to the claim of 80% new material. Here’s what fans of the second edition can expect to find new in the third edition:
PART I, Workshop Essentials
- More how-tos: More minilessons, conferring suggestions, and scheduling and organizational ideas.
- A deep dive into the Daily Poem: A critical innovation that helps you support close reading, critical skills, and the writer’s craft.
- More about reading workshop: Nancie puts the writing and reading workshop on even footing as she shows how you can helps kids read 40 books a year.
- The 12 red flags of writing: You’ll know exactly what to watch for in students’ writing as well how to respond to them.
- Letter-essays: Nancie replaces her well-known weekly letters with letter-essays that reduce the paper burden on you and create a bridge to expository writing.
- Handover: Nancie shows you how to release responsibility to writers and, more so than in the previous edition, to readers.
- Off-the-page writing: A new concept introduced in the third edition is a way of inserting time and reflection into writing.
Part II, Genre Studies
- New emphasis and minilessons on poetry: A key innovation—Nancie details why poetry has increased in importance in her teaching and why it is the first genre your students should write in.
- More specificity about memoirs: The third edition provides more craft specifics to teach and more ways for kids to access the language and descriptions of published memoirs.
- Micro fiction: Another major innovation is replacing short stories with the concentrated power of micro fiction.
- New details on expository writing: Nancie narrows her focus to four types of expository writing and presents you with more specifics, structures, and examples for each.
- “Humor and Homage”: A brand new chapter that not only supports improved writing but helps you provide students with experiences in critical/close reading.
- New student writing samples: All-new samples reflect today’s students and topics.