If you are familiar with the iconic text Exploring How Texts Work, you would know how it has shaped the teaching of genre writing for primary teachers and maybe not a few secondary teachers as well. This text, Put it in Writing, follows a similar format but with a few additions and elaborations. The text commences with some solid foundation about the functional model of language and genre theory so that teachers can understand how students perceive and approach writing. It is firmly ensconced in the Australian Curriculum, stating that having knowledge of texts and how language works enables meaning to occur.
The text explores three writing genres: imaginative, information and persuasive. Each writing genre is further explored by the modelling of various samples of the writing type. For instance, the imaginative mode is extrapolated into writing to interact with an audience, imaginative recount and writing to evoke feelings. Informative and persuasive writing chapters feature various models pertinent to their forms.
Rossbridge’s text uses a variety of texts as mentor samples for the writing genres presented. This is a valuable and useful tool because it allows the teacher some support when explaining and demonstrating how the various writing styles are utilised by professionals. The use of texts means that each modelled lesson is geared towards a certain grade level but of course, it is not limited to such. Certainly, in the secondary classroom it is possible to utilise junior texts to highlight features without distractors.
This is a refreshing and useful text that contains features transferable to many situations. Although predominantly a primary focus text, it is not without useful information for the secondary English teacher.
Reviewed by Yvonne Judd, Edinburgh College