One key idea threads through my series this year about poetry as part of the writing process for other genres: poetry sharpens our diction. Frequent practice in reading and writing poetry tunes our eyes and ears to what works and does not work in our choice of words, the same way practicing guitar helps train […]
As much as I hate to admit it, I was not much of a reader in high school. It’s not that I didn’t like reading. I did. I just didn’t know what to read. My friend would buy books every now and then and pass them along to me. I would read them and enjoy […]
When I think of increasing student choice and voice this leads me to think about increasing student motivation and happiness. And when these ideas coalesce I can’t help but think of Malcolm Gladwell’s Ted Talk (I realize this is a strange connection to make, but hear me out). Gladwell discusses how Prego, back in the ’70s, took over […]
Adrian Nester is an AP English teacher and journalism adviser at Tunstall High School in Dry Fork, Virginia. After 16 years of teaching, she is thankful to have met her AP Lit Help teaching community when entering into her mid-career crisis years. She is the mother of two, wife of one, and teacher of many. […]
We had the honor of joining CNUSDEdChat last summer when we were in California for their Literary is Everywhere conference! Take a listen!
There aren’t any cheat sheets or formulas to help students do well on the SAT essay. But as it turns out, that might actually be a good thing.
Last year, I began to notice a curious but recurring pattern — students’ final papers lacked many of the elements we noticed in the mentor texts. It was as though students had forgotten that we studied the mentor texts for days and days and made grand lists of noticings. It was as though they had […]
The idea that “everything’s an argument” seems almost too obvious these days. After all, talk to almost any adolescent today and it’s clear how aware they are of the ways in which they are constantly being persuaded, whether it’s an editorial from the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, the latest newscast from […]
Sometimes we need to scaffold the thinking that goes into writing more than we need to scaffold where a topic sentence goes in a paragraph. Mentor texts can help with that!
Melissa Surber teaches 11th grade Junior and Senior College Prep English and AP Literature and Composition at Troy Buchanan High School in Troy, Missouri, an hour north of St. Louis. She is in her 18th year of teaching and just recently became National Board Certified. Connect with her at @ELAWordsmith. Mentor Texts: Patton Oswalt Facebook […]