One key idea threads through my series this year about poetry as part of the writing process for other genres: poetry sharpens our diction. Frequent practice in reading and writing poetry tunes our eyes and ears to what works and does not work in our choice of words, the same way practicing guitar helps train […]
In last month’s post on Moving Writers, I shared how some simple poetry writing helped students tease out a theme in their reading. Crafting poetry can also help students dig deeper into details they later incorporate in the heart of their writing. Prewriting with poetry can give literary analysis essays a pulse. While waiting in line […]
On any day last week, a quick sweep of my three senior classes offered the same scene: gaunt, gray faces; foreheads on tables; backpacks exploding with papers; hair teased and tangled by frustrated fingers. It’s the October crunch, and my seniors are feeling the pressure of first quarter assessments, college applications, and fall SAT testing. […]
My students are at that time of year where they need to be constantly entertained. They like the satire unit we’re in the midst of (some of them have even said so out loud!), but their attention spans are starting to resemble that of my eight year old this afternoon as the rain poured down […]
Mentor Texts: Another Nightmare in America – Cory Branan (listen here) American Tune – AJJ (listen here) Writing Techniques: Voice Adopting a persona Writing a protest piece Background – I’m a music fan. I use music in many ways in my classroom. It matters in my life so it features in my work. As I […]
An instructional writing model that allows for authenticity and self-directed learning.
Mentor Texts: “In praise of Joanne Rowling’s Hermione Granger series” – Sady Doyle Writing Techniques: Character analysis Applying a critical lens Voice Background: I am re-reading the Harry Potter series with my oldest daughter. We’re reading the gorgeous illustrated editions. This means that we are now on our second go-round with Chamber of Secrets, as […]
How adopting a mentor text approach to writing instruction is actually helping me teach reading comprehension
My last post mentioned Pippin, and now I’m quoting Rodgers & Hammerstein; I had musical theater on my mind this summer because I knew my break would end with a “bucket list” vacation to Broadway, the four-plays-in-four-days kind of trip my Tony Awards-watching teenage self had always dreamed about. The trip was an absolute treat, […]
A challenging, fun, and engaging activity using Hamilton as a mentor text for character and theme analysis.