My point is this: using your knowledge to create something new in writing not only helps learning stick – it can inspire more learning.
The Benefits of Writing 6: Creativity!
The late Sir Ken Robinson once asked why we value analyzing literature more than we value actually creating it. I share his concern.
Graphic Novel Writing: A Breather Unit
A few posts ago, I wrote about what Beth Rimer calls “Breather Units.” A Breather Unit is a 2-3 week mini-unit in which a teacher engages in something lighter–or perhaps does a bit of review–after a deep and intense unit of study. Inspired by a Graphic Novel Writing unit Rebekah posted to the Moving Writers […]
Deep Dives and Side Quests: Idea Gold Mines
As an American now living and teaching in Canada, I’ve had to learn a lot in a short period of time. I’m teaching a self-contained 3rd + 4th grade class this year, which means I’m teaching Social Studies, and the American Education system doesn’t really give us all that much about our neighbors to the […]
Designing With Grammar
Teaching grammar is my instructional nemesis. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling this way. For nearly twenty years now, I have worked at teaching grammar in the context of writing, without skill-and-drill worksheets, and every year I tweak my approach, often some variation of Harry Noden’s creative Image Grammar approach. But it’s still […]
The “After Exam” Conundrum
Here’s the situation… It is the day after the AP Lang exam and 22 grade 11 students walked into class. And all of their faces said the same thing: “We are done the exam. What are we going to do now?” They sat down ready to read—they knew that at least that wouldn’t be changing […]
The Most Essential School Supply (Plus 3 Instructional Practices to Make the Most of It!)
It’s that time of year. Yeah, we may sometimes feel like we’re in survival mode with eager tallies marking how many Mondays are left in the school year, but as much as we might be counting down, we’re also starting to plan ahead for next year. We’re waxing reflective and submitting school supply lists to […]
Breaking Mentor Texts into Loose Parts
Loose parts are easier to examine, replicate, and experiment with. How do we break a mentor text down?
Make Your Own Burger: Creating what is Missing
Making their own burgers provides students with both direction and freedom in creative writing.
Drop Everything and Play: Creating Opportunities for Creativity
The goal of dropping everything and playing is to transform the fear of a new text into an opportunity for pure creativity.