Friday, February 19, 2021


I am excited and delighted to share the cover for my new book, STORY FRAMES FOR TEACHING LITERACY coming out with Brookes Publishing in early April 2021. Many of you have participated in my workshops for Story Frames (formerly The Secret Language of Stories). I have presented these strategies at ASHA, ILA/IRA, and the Annual Reading, Literacy and Learning Conference put on each year by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), as well as many smaller conferences and workshops. 

If you have used these resources with your students and would like to share your experiences, please contact me at

Story Frames combines the strategies that teachers and SLPs implement to teach story grammar with the techniques that professional authors use to plot their books. This unique combination helps students appreciate stories at a deeper level and gives them tools for creating their own narratives. 

Here are a few of the features of the book described by the publisher:

"This guidebook reveals how to unlock literacy and learning skills by captivating K–12 students with the power of stories: how they’re structured, how they reflect and change lives, and how students can create their own original narratives. Using dozens of diverse fiction and nonfiction books as vivid examples, you’ll discover how to teach 12 key story elements (Story Frames) in dynamic, fun, and highly visual ways, including Quick Draws, storyboards, and icons that make narrative structure easy to grasp. Then you’ll get in-depth guidance on how to use knowledge of story structure to build core literacy skills—from oral language to reading comprehension—and empower students to write their own personal stories in a variety of genres. The book includes more than 35 adaptable lesson plans and a complete package of online support materials including PowerPoints and other tools for online learning." 

ONLINE MATERIALS: Implement Story Frames effectively with a full package of downloadable materials, including sample storyboards and templates, 40+ handouts and worksheets, game cards, slide decks to use in instruction, 30+ sample story analyses of books for children and young adults, and brief literature guides for applying Story Frames to picture books and to chapter books and novels.

Several noteworthy authors have contributed chapters to Story Frames including:

Amy Miller, Director of the May Center for Learning in Santa Fe, NM shares how students transform personal experiences into superhero stories. She runs a project called the Dyslexia Justice League where she uses superheroes and the Hero's Journey to help students explore personal struggles and develop a growth mindset.

Paula Moraine, educator, consultant, and author of Helping Students Take Control of Everyday Executive Functions provides practical strategies for using narratives as a medium for improving executive function skills.

Mary Jo O'Neill, parent advocate, discusses how getting parents to write down their family stories provides a powerful tool for advocacy. Her chapter highlights a type of persuasive writing that has real-world implications for students receiving special education services. 

Lesley Roessing, university lecturer and author of Bridging the Gap: Reading Critically and Writing Meaningfully to Get to the Core shares insights for teaching memoir writing and explains how memoir can be a bridge to expository writing.

William Van Cleave, educational consultant and author of Writing Matters: Designing Sentence Skills in Students of All Ages, helps educators make sense out of grammar instruction by focusing on function rather than form.

Carol Westby, university lecturer, researcher, author, and leading authority on narrative development, discusses the importance of considering multicultural perspectives in the writing of personal stories and the ways storytelling varies across countries and cultures. Her chapter also discusses strategies for empowering English as a Second Language (ESL) students. She offers several online courses through PESI including Developing Social-Emotional Skills and Self Regulation in Students: Narrative Intervention for Long-Term Academic, Personal & Social Success. 

For a full list of the downloadable resources that accompany my book, find out more at Brookes Publishing.

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1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Carolee, on this marvelous accomplishment.


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