search navigation

Up the Ladder

Accessing Grades 3-6 Writing Units of Study

When Lucy and her coauthors worked on the Units of Study, they to make a choice whether to “make shoes that fit—or shoes to grow into.” They chose the latter, writing that curriculum for kids who are growing up within Units of Study writing workshops. This means that each Unit of Study assumes students have experienced the unit that came before it. But that, of course, won’t be the case for upper-grade students entering writing workshop for the first time.

The TCRWP staff spent a long time studying how to successfully accelerate children’s growth in narrative, information, and opinion writing. They analyzed the progression of skills taught across elementary and middle-school grades, identified the most critical foundational skills for each of the three genres, and then devised the Up the Ladder units to give students a clear pathway to support the development of these key skills.

Series Components

Units of Study

Three Units of Study, each 20-22 sessions in length, that correspond to the 3 writing types taught in the Units of Study, grades K-5: narrative, information, and opinion writing.

A Guide to the Up the Ladder Units
A Guide to the Up the Ladder Units

The Guide orients teachers to the Up the Ladder books, providing guidance on the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective writing workshop instruction.

Demonstration Videos
Demonstration Videos

QR codes at point-of-use link to videos featuring TCRWP Staff Developers modeling how to teach each minilesson.

Watch a minilesson demo video

Anchor Chart Sticky Notes
Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

The teaching points for each day’s instruction are illustrated on large-format sticky notes to help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across the units.

Online Resources
Online Resources

The Online Resources include downloadable anchor charts, paper-choice templates, mentor texts, student checklists, samples of student work, and more.

Online Resources - Spanish Translations
Online Resources - Spanish Translations

Spanish translations of resources include anchor charts, and illustrated student checklists for narrative, information, and opinion writing.

Series Overview

For more information, download the series overview!

Who should choose the Up the Ladder Units?

Note that Up the Ladder units are not meant to be an alternative to the core Units of Study, but rather a ramp to accelerate kids to the grade-level work they will do in those units.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Overview of the Units

Planning Instruction

Assessment for Learning

Support for Teachers

Resource Center Samples

Learn More in the Resource Center

Purchasing Options

Series Box

Related Resources

For more information about the Units of Study in Writing and to see additional purchasing options, see the K-5 Writing Units page and the Middle School Writing page.