Revered Educator Ruth Culham and the Authors of The 39 Clues Team Up to Teach Good Writing to Young Readers

New Teachers Guide for The 39 Clues Series and Upcoming Live Webcast from Scholastic Help Teachers Improve Students' Writing

Mar 01, 2011, 10:34 ET from Scholastic

NEW YORK, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruth Culham, creator of the Traits of Writing assessment and instructional framework and author of a new core writing program from Scholastic (Nasdaq: SCHL) called Traits Complete, is teaming up with authors of the bestselling The 39 Clues® series to model and inspire good writing for students across the country.


Culham worked with Scholastic editors to create a special teachers guide for The 39 Clues anchored by her Traits of Writing model. The guide will be released to teachers in the lead-up to a live webcast, called "Decoding Writing with The 39 Clues," on April 5th at 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT featuring authors from the multi-platform The 39 Clues series.

The webcast is built around the concepts of "mentor texts" and "mentor writers," which, according to Culham, are texts and authors that inspire and energize student writers in their own work. These mentor texts are used in the classroom to instruct students on what makes good writing for each of the six traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. The webcast event will feature live interviews with four authors from The 39 Clues series – Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, Jude Watson, and Linda Sue Park – and special video featuring author Rick Riordan. The webcast will also showcase book excerpts using multimedia that illustrate writing Traits in an engaging, multimedia way for students and teachers.

"The 39 Clues series is one of those special series that has captured the attention of millions of kids across the country. Students tell me how much they enjoy this series when I am a guest teacher in their classrooms," said Ruth Culham, creator of the Traits of Writing for grades K-8, and Traits Complete from Scholastic. "This webcast is a great opportunity to show teachers how to teach writing using a unique series like The 39 Clues. Giving students access to mentor authors and their writing will help them understand why the books are so enjoyable and how to create their own stories based on what The 39 Clues series can teach them."

The webcast, designed for grades 3-6, coincides with the release of Book 11: Vespers Rising, a novel written by New York Times bestselling authors Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson. Vespers Rising will be followed this Fall by The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, an all-new story arc of the popular multi-media franchise.

The event also coincides with the launch of a revolutionary new core writing program for grades K-8 from Scholastic called Traits Complete. Built on the cornerstones of solid writing practices – writing process, writing workshop, and writing traits – Traits Complete presents a systematic way to teach writing that reflects:

  • Best practices for writing assessment and instruction.
  • Proven practices based on 20 years of research and data collection.
  • Common Core State Standards & Response to Intervention practices.
  • Differentiation and collaboration strategies.
  • Writing Skills development in each trait.
  • Mentor texts and interviews from mentor writers
  • Technology and white board lessons and activities.

Ruth Culham's six traits of writing is the most widely-used technique for assessing and teaching writing in America. With the adoption of this new core writing program, teachers will have everything they need to assess and teach writing in grades K-8 at their fingertips.

"In the second decade of the 21st Century and beyond, it's critical that every student write well, no matter where life ultimately takes them," said Greg Worrell, President of the Scholastic Classroom and Library Group. "Through years of studying writing practice and working with teachers to improve their writing instruction, Ruth Culham has become America's foremost expert on what good writing is and how to teach it. Traits Complete will bring those proven teaching practices into classrooms in an exciting new way."

The 39 Clues launched on September 9, 2008, with Book 1: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. On December 2, 2008, Book 2: One False Note by Gordon Korman was released and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Since then, the series, including Book 3: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis (March 3, 2009), Book 4: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson (June 2, 2009), Book 5: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman (August 11, 2009), Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson (November 3, 2009), Book 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis (February 2, 2010), Book 8: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman (April 6, 2010), Book 9: Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park (May 25, 2010), and Book 10: Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix (August 31, 2010), have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. A 39 Clues movie is in development at DreamWorks Studios with Steven Spielberg eyeing to direct and Deborah Forte of Scholastic Media producing.

For more information about Scholastic, visit our Media Room at  

SOURCE Scholastic