Argument in the Wild: Reading & Writing from Media-Rich Texts

The idea that “everything’s an argument” seems almost too obvious these days. After all, talk to almost any adolescent today and it’s clear how aware they are of the ways in which they are constantly being persuaded, whether it’s an editorial from the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, the latest newscast from […]

March (Madness) to Determine Significance

March Madness March is still two months away, but that didn’t stop my students from facing off March Madness style as we reviewed Lord of the Flies last week. One of the challenges students often face when writing literary analysis is that writing literary analysis asks students to demonstrate two important but distinctly different things: […]

What Are You Working On? Empowering Student Writers through Workshop

I’ve always believed in the writing process. My teaching didn’t always reflect that belief, as I spent too many years earlier in my career creating worksheets and essay prompts and outlines and templates. I soon realized that just because my writing instruction included steps didn’t mean it was a process. That said, in more recent […]

Writing in the Wild: Beyond the 5-Paragraph Essay

“What do you think about when you hear the word essay?” A moment of silence. Some confused looks. Others, blank stares. A few, smirks. IT’S LATE AFTERNOON, September, last period. My AP Lang class and I are in the midst of finishing up our discussion of Joan Didion’s wonderful essay, “On Keeping a Notebook.” It’s a relatively […]