“I don’t know what to do. My main claim just kinda blew up in my face.” The student sat in front of me–a little forlorn, a lot frustrated–her computer balanced on her lap. I was surprised by her candor. Usually, when students’ claims “blow up in their faces” they are quick to ask for […]
I love the planning part of teaching, taking ideas, and seeing what they might become. It’s one of my favorite things about writing for Moving Writers, because it gives me another outlet for putting those ideas to use. As a planner, I’m constantly noting things that intrigue or interest me, filing them away for future […]
This is not going to be a post teaching you how to conduct a unit on podcasting. (If that’s what you’re looking for, maybe someday. But also Stefanie has written a brilliant series on this starting here.) Rather, this is a post where I will muse on what teaching podcasting has revealed about the process […]
Mentor Text: Possible Subtitles by Mari Andrew Techniques: Memoir Analyzing Rhetoric Explaining a quote Pre-writing Background: If you’re a member of the Moving Writers community, then the work of Mari Andrew is familiar. We’re all big fans, and have been using her work in our classrooms. We’re all probably buying her book this week too. There […]
We’ve been studying up on the idea of journalistic “angles”, in preparation for the writing of our big narrative journalism piece. It’s an unfortunate and important time to be examining such things with high school students. Where we’d normally examining several models about random topics and attempt to uncover the underlying purpose or persuasive efforts […]
Have you ever considered how many aphorisms there are for good writing? Show, don’t tell. Write what you know. To write well, read. First drafts are crap. Adverbs are the devil. And so on. But there’s one tidy little truth that haunts me over and over and reminds me that my job is not […]
Hi, Beth! Thanks for asking. As you know, mentor texts can be incredibly powerful tools to help students see the beauty in our language—and studying mentor texts at the sentence level can help students see what happens when we gather the best words in the best order. I almost always use mentor texts to […]
Some strategies for motivating writers to engage in meaningful revision.
The school year is winding down—and I find myself thinking more and more of warm poolside days—yet everywhere I turn, rich mentor texts seem to come my way. I’ll find something and think, “Oh, that would have been perfect to use with ____” or “That would have worked great with ____!” Although it may be […]
When asking students to write about topics that require a lot of context, we have to consider not only what THEY might not know, but what WE might not know when we give students freedom to write about their world.