Step Up to Writing

Research-Based Writing Instruction (Grades K–12)

Compatible With All Core Curriculums

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Writing Instruction That Adapts to Every Student’s Needs

Step Up to Writing includes embedded professional development; provides flexible implementation options; is compatible with any core curriculum; and supports writing instruction across all content areas. This solution’s multisensory, explicit, and systematic approach to teaching writing is designed to provide clear strategies, methods, and supports for increased student success. Created for all students, the strategies in Step Up to Writing are designed to be used to support writing instruction in all content areas.

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Establish a Common Writing Approach

Implementing Step Up to Writing in every grade establishes a common writing approach across grade levels and content areas. This writing program provides:

  • Multimodal instruction/differentiation
  • Flexible implementation options
  • Compatible with any core curriculum
  • Support for writing instruction across all content areas
  • A full body of proven writing strategies
  • ESSA evidence level: Demonstrates a Rationale

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Propel Students Forward with Explicit Instruction

Step Up to Writing instructional strategies and writing lessons help students understand the importance of each step in the writing process. Beginning writers explicitly learn and practice each phase of the process. Common expectations and language for writing across every grade level builds confidence as students grow into more advanced writers and the process becomes fluid and automatic.

Program Features

Four grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12) targeting writing strategies to age levels as well as subject-area learning in specific grades.

Focus on the specific text types emphasized in state standards: informative/explanatory, opinion/argument, and narrative writing.

Emphasis on using technology for research and to produce and publish work.

Grade-level specific Unit Maps provide a sequence of instructional strategies as they help students improve writing skills.

Realistic strategies for differentiation to ensure instruction will meet individual student needs.

Explicit focus on supporting students in producing organized, clear, and coherent writing.

Support the Individuality of Each and Every Learner, Regardless of Age or Preparation

One size fits all never works. With this in mind, Step Up to Writing Fourth Edition provides variation and differentiation based on each student’s needs throughout 1,100+ strategies, across all four grade bands. Optional “Craft and Style” callouts within the strategies teach the three major text types while also providing opportunities for additional depth and richness.

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Elementary writing

Step Up to Writing provides the specialized instruction to meet the needs of diverse student groups.

General Education

  • Strategies boost student writing to the next level
  • Solid structure across the types of writing assignments
  • Revision guidance
  • Consistent strategies and multiple opportunities for practice

English Language Learners

  • Oral language development is encouraged
  • Students develop an academic vocabulary
  • Students stay actively involved
  • Emphasis on relating and organizing information

Gifted & Talented

  • Focus on organizing information strategically to increase written impact
  • Writers learn to effectively articulate complex thoughts and content
  • Students perceive shades of meaning within words

At Risk & Special Education

  • Strategies make abstract concepts concrete
  • Guidance for better reading comprehension
  • Use of multisensory approaches
  • Confidence is built incrementally
  • Organization and planning skills are emphasized

Remote Learning Writing Instruction

Step Up to Writing provides various strategies to support writing for K–12 students. For remote learning, we are offering six model strategies that support Informative/Explanatory Writing with video tips and accompanying activities appropriate for students in each grade band from K–12.

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writing at home

The Step Up to Writing Difference

Don’t take our word for it. Hear from satisfied customers about how Step Up to Writing has made an impact in their districts, schools, and classrooms.


Students improve their writing skills and build confidence at John Williams School No. 5, Rochester, NY

“When our kids were taking the state exams or any type of essay, they would tense up and get nervous. Now, they know to organize it [their writing].”
—Kelli Monique Briggs, Teacher, John Williams School No. 5, Rochester, NY


Improved student writing leads to higher test scores for students at Corona-Norco Unified School District, Riverside County, California

“We really saw a great development of the writing process, which is so vague if you don’t have a writing system. To have one districtwide, from primary all the way up to high school, is so strong for our district.” —Beth Feaster, Principal, Temescal Valley Elementary School, Corona-Norco Unified School District


Over the years, Camino Union Elementary School relies more on Step Up to Writing to establish a common writing approach across grade levels and content areas.

In 2010, administrators at Camino Union Elementary School District (CUSD) in California were concerned about the large number of children entering their only elementary school writing below grade level and with a history of poor state assessment test scores.

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Featured Step Up to Writing Resources

Writing students

Tips for Improving Informative/Explanatory Writing

Learn 6 tips that can be used immediately in the classroom, complete with downloadable writing activities and training videos for teaching each strategy.

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Student writing

Drive Student Success with Strategies for Building Proficient K–12 Writers

National Literacy Consultant Jenny Hamilton presents highly effective strategies teachers can implement immediately to create better writers.

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Writing Revolution

Inspire a Writing Revolution!

Learn engaging, hands-on, multisensory strategies for teaching three types of writing outlined in the CCSS—explanatory/informative, narrative, and opinion/argumentative.

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Build confident, skilled writers at every level across your school or district today

How Step Up to Writing Aligns with Your State

Find state-specific correlation guides, research reports, white papers, successful case studies, webinars, and other materials.

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Step Up to Writing Training & Support Services

We are committed to a long-term partnership with every district that implements our solutions. Each implementation support plan is individually crafted with school and/or district administrators to meet specific needs, including making explicit connections to state standards and/or the CCSS. Districts can choose from a menu of training and support options including in-person, online, or a combination of both.

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