Translating Writing With Mentors for Elementary and Middle School, Part II

Last week, we shared our four fundamental beliefs about teaching with mentor texts — beliefs that apply to any students in any classroom, from kindergarten to senior year. We believe that: Real writing is the result of studying real writing Students benefit from studying hot-off-the-presses mentor texts Students need to study multiple mentor texts in […]

Summer Mentor Text Countdown Week 8: Mentor Texts for Literary Analysis

Before Allison and I each began using the writing workshop approach in our classrooms, one of our biggest concerns was the same concern we hear again and again from teachers around the country: we are high school teachers. We must teach literary analysis and the writing of literary analysis. How can writing workshop accommodate this? We […]

Summer Mentor Text Countdown Week 7: Ways to End (or Begin) a Year of Writing with Mentor Texts

We have been sharing Moving Writers’ most popular posts about mentor texts as we move toward the September release of our book, Writing With Mentors. (Want a tiny sneak peek at the contents of Writing With Mentors? Check out our Table of Contents and a couple of reviews on the Heinemann site!) Last week in our Summer Mentor […]

Our Top 3 Tips for Using Your Summer to Plan Next Year’s Writing Workshop

My summer to-do list is LONG. In addition to around-the-house projects that only get done during the summer, trips to take, friends to see, and books to read, I have planning to do for the upcoming school year. I bet you do, too. A lot of writing workshop can’t be planned for — we have […]

Literary Analysis Week Wrap-up: Observations, Conclusions, & Lingering Questions

You might remember that this burning desire to meaningfully bring literary analysis into a real, thriving writing workshop began because I was trying to find a solution for the mutual malaise experienced by my students and me in my IB English class. There had to be something more — something better — than the by-rote […]

A Different Way to Teach Literary Analysis: A Literature-Based Analysis Study

This week, I gave my ninth graders this definition: Analysis: breaking something into its parts and pieces so that we can closely examine it and, ultimately, come to a better understanding of the whole. Literary analysis: when we do this with a piece of literature. In the traditional high school English classroom, literary analysis has […]

Literary Analysis Blog Blast Day #3: Character Analysis Writing Workshop

On Wednesday, I shared the rationale for analysis workshops centered on different analytical techniques, and I shared one technique-based analysis study in which students analyzed two texts side-by-side. Today, I want to share another technique-based analysis study with you — this time, a character analysis. The Assignment Without choice, there really is no writing workshop, […]