Stewig uses children's literature as a starting point for teaching children to write. A strong advocate of reading aloud throughout the primary grades, Stewig presents a highly structured set of exercises which include dictating original stories and using specific children's books to stimulate children to create character sketches, plot studies (divided into type-one, type-two and type-three conflict), figures of speech, and poetry (including the cinquain, a classroom favorite, and some concrete poetry). The program has some ideas which will be useful but Stewig can't really tell teachers how to communicate the excitement of literature or teach creativity (questions like ""what part of the story was interesting?"" could be deadly in the wrong hands) and there's no hint of the fire that, say, Kenneth Koch brings to the classroom. Stewig's suggestions for suitable ""literary input"" (""effective"" writing is honored here, but not practiced) are solid but unadventurous--Blue Willow, for example, is one of only two suggestions for books ""describing the lives of poor children.