My point is this: using your knowledge to create something new in writing not only helps learning stick – it can inspire more learning.
A Mentor Text for Place-Based Storytelling
Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash During the last couple of years of teaching, making mini-zines has been a highlight. An 8-page zine has been a go-to method for helping students shrink a narrative down to accessible compactness. As my students plot environmental stories culminating in a call to action, the details associated with specific […]
The Benefits of Writing 3: Remembering Your Life
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.
The Benefits of Writing 2: Discovering the Power of Words
…In our classrooms, we can read for meaning, discuss meaning, and allow students to write things that mean something to them.
Writing Flash Fiction: Environmental Ghost Stories
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? […]
A Message in a Bottle Narrative
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 […]
Fostering Environmental Storytelling: Making an Eco-Zine
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 […]
Reading As Writers: Big Picture and Closeup
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.
Environmental Justice, Comic Book Storytelling, and Seed Work
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. […]
Big Picture/Closeup: a model for reading and writing
Closeup elements are how the story is told. Big Picture elements are the story itself.