Speaking as a teacher of 30 years experience who has, for all of those 30 years, asked students to write about their lives, I can only say I have never had a student complain about writing about their lives after the fact.
…In our classrooms, we can read for meaning, discuss meaning, and allow students to write things that mean something to them.
In last month’s post, I described how writing flash stories helped my students process the contents of an informational text. As we turned to a news article about a disturbed landscape, I wondered: How could recasting the details of a news article in the form of a flash ghost story help students understand its implications? […]
The phrase, “a message in a bottle,” conjures an image of a weather-beaten bottle, bearing a message from an earnest sender. It came to mind as I prepared to share a National Geographic encyclopedic entry about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with my students. Eager to provide them with more opportunities to process the implications […]
The question—What kind of access to environmental news stories do we have?— is one that arouses concern in my classroom. According to my high school students, unless you’re taking an AP Environmental Science class, chances are slim that climate change is being addressed, let alone mentioned. This is troubling for students who are mindful of […]
Great student writers, the ones whose work I can’t wait to read, notice what writers do and begin to see how it all works together.
In Charlie La Greca and Rebecca Bratspies’ environmental justice comic, Mayah’s Lot, the image of the aspen seed is prominent. The titular character intends to plant an aspen seed in a garden she secretly tends on a vacant lot, just before finding out a corporation’s plan to transform the lot into an industrial toxic storage waste facility. […]
Closeup elements are how the story is told. Big Picture elements are the story itself.
The experience of writing a novel together didn’t inhibit individual creativity – it made them all want to go home and write more on their own.
This year in my school district, my colleagues and I have held rich and ongoing conversations about ways to be more culturally and historically responsive in our curriculum and instruction. Within these conversations, we discovered that part of being more responsive in these matters involves valuing our students’ sense of identity in their learning. In […]