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Writing Our Way In: Exploring Drama Through A Soliloquy Study– Part Two

Last month, I shared my plans for using a soliloquy study to help my seniors write their way in to Hamlet. Today, I’m almost done reading the seniors’ soliloquies, and I’m excited to share the results, the lingering questions, and my plans for the future of this unit with you! Previously, on Moving Writers… The […]

Life Happens: Mentor Texts vs. The Curse of Knowledge

There’s a John Lennon song that addresses an issue that teachers know all too well: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making [lesson] plans.” Even the most responsive and differentiated approaches can fall victim to the different kinds of chaos that life throws our way (Technology, I’m talking to you). On top […]

Reader Mail: How can we help students better understand what they are doing in their own writing?

After the last installment of my four-part series on reading like a writer, I received a question from Lisa in Waunakee, WI about helping students better understand what they are doing in their own writing: “How to help students explain WHY/HOW an aspect of the piece (like a description, an added scene, a certain line, […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Five Truths and a Lie about Paxton Avenue

Mentor Text: Five Truths and a Lie about Paxton Avenue by Jose Olivarez (pdf) Techniques: Writing Memoir Using a Structure Background –  In the first paragraph of this column, I usually reference my Twitter feed. I follow a lot of poets, not only because they share their work, but the poetry community is wonderful at sharing […]

Scaffolds for Helping Students Read Like Writers, Part IV (Trying the craft in your own work!)

This whole scaffolding series has been building up to this last post. Everything we do to teach kids how to read like writers is in preparation for the last leap: trying the craft in your own work. In literature heavy classrooms, teachers may skip this step: The peak of literary analysis instruction is teaching students […]