Sign up or login to use the bookmarking feature.

Write Ahead Professional Development

How is Write Ahead organized?

The Write Ahead Handbook has five main sections, as you can see on the back cover.

Write Ahead Cover
© Thoughtful Learning 2025
  1. The Process of Writing section teaches strategies for prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. This section also covers the basics of sentences, paragraphs, and essays.
  2. The Forms of Writing section teaches how to write the many forms: personal, narrative, explanatory, persuasive, literary, research, and creative. Chapters provide guidelines, models, and checklists.
  3. The Tools of Learning section teaches skills for reading, listening, speaking, studying, and test taking.
  4. The Proofreader's Guide provides rules and examples for punctuation, mechanics, spelling, usage, sentences, and grammar.
  5. The Student Almanac includes exciting pages on language, science, math, history, geography, and government—perfect for writing across the curriculum.

Take a Tour!

Page through the handbook in one of these ways:

  1. Open a Slideshow in Google Slides.
  2. Download a Slideshow in PowerPoint (10 MB).

What's in the grammar SkillsBooks?

Write Ahead includes grammar SkillsBooks for grades 9 and 10. Each SkillsBook teaches the rules of punctuation, mechanics, spelling, usage, sentences, and grammar, with examples and activities.

Write Ahead SkillsBook Covers
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

Take a Tour!

Page through the SkillsBook in one of these ways:

  1. Open a Slideshow in Google Slides.
  2. Download a Slideshow in PowerPoint (2.6 MB).

What's in the free online Teacher's Guide?

The Write Ahead Teacher's Guide includes a scope and sequence, yearlong timetable, getting-started activities, chapter-by-chapter guide to the handbook, help for writing assessment, research basis, and activities and handouts.

Write Ahead Table of Contents
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

You can get to the Teacher's Guide by going to and clicking on "Teacher's Guides" in the top banner.

Thoughtful Learning Website Top Banner
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

Take a Tour!

Page through the free online Teacher's Guide on any device with Internet access—no sign-in needed.

How do these components work together?

The Write Ahead Handbook is designed to let you choose what you want to teach and when. Instead of marching page by page through a basal, you select the chapters you teach throughout the school year.

Here's one sample way that you might organize the first three weeks of instruction in your classroom, drawn from the "Yearlong Timetable" in the Teacher's Guide:

Write Ahead Teacher's Guide Yearlong Time Table
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

Most numbers represent pages in the Write Ahead Handbook, but those marked SB9 and SB10 represent pages in SkillsBook 9 or 10. Here's one suggested teaching plan:

  • Week 1: Download "Getting-Started Activities" and distribute them to your students. They can complete the activities in Word or Google Docs, or they can work on paper printouts. These fun scavenger hunts and other activities help them become familiar with their handbooks. You can also teach "Why Write?" and get students started with "Journal Writing."
  • Week 2: You can teach the chapters "All About Writing" and "One Writer's Process" to help students learn the basics of good writing. You can also teach "Creating Clear Sentences" in the handbook. These pages align with activities within SkillsBooks 9 and 10.
  • Week 3: You can teach "Traits of Effective Writing" and then have students begin writing narrative forms. Ninth graders might write "Personal Narratives," while tenth graders could work on "Biographical Essays." Each grade can continue to learn about "Creating Clear Sentences" in the handbook and practice using the appropriate SkillsBook pages.

How can I get started with these materials?

Download the Write Ahead Program Sheet. The first page provides an overview of what you have just learned about the three components. The second page gives you a simple four-step process for launching the program in your classroom—getting you and your students comfortable with Write Ahead.

Write Ahead Program Sheet 1
© Thoughtful Learning 2025
Write Ahead Program Sheet 2
© Thoughtful Learning 2025