Reader Mail: Teaching Writers to Use Copious, Persuasive Evidence

We recently received this email from Angela in South Dakota: I am writing about a podcast interview that you did with Talks with Teachers. You had mentioned you did a unit on using text evidence, and it hit me at my heart as my students struggle with providing relevant evidence in their writing. I searched […]

A Lesson for Tomorrow: Writing Like Crime Scene Investigators

I cringed as I listened to a former student explain how her teacher grades discussion. “You have to talk three times to even be graded,” she said, swirling the last inch of iced coffee in her plastic cup. “And you can’t ask questions. Questions show that you haven’t thought something through enough to talk about […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Ken Tucker’s Review of Pharrell’s New Album

Mentor Text: Tucker, Ken. “Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy”. 6 March 2014. npr.org.  Technique: Using Figurative Language as Evidence Background:  Ken Tucker read his review of Pharrell’s new album on Fresh Air as I drove home after work one Friday. “A MENTOR TEXT!” I screeched. (Literally.) And sometimes — the most wonderful times — we find mentor texts this […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: China’s Web Junkies Op-Doc

Mentor Text: “China’s Web Junkies,” an Op-Doc from The New York Times Skill: Using evidence to support a position Background: Every year it seems that more and more of my students are denouncing Facebook. They talk about it freely during passing time as they unpack their bags. “You’re still on? I’ve been off for a […]