The Syntax of Things: Lesson Ideas for Syntax Study

Mentor Texts: First few paragraphs of “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe Various photographs of your choice “After I Was Thrown Into the River and Before I Drown” by Dave Eggers Big Idea: Writers use syntax purposefully to create meaning and a desired effect. What’s ahead in this post: A 3-day lesson series […]

Sentence Study to Textual Analysis — an Aha! moment

In 2014, I attended Alison and Rebekah’s presentation at NCTE in Washington, DC, and left buzzing about so much of what they shared, especially sentence studies. For reluctant writers like my freshmen, a sentence study is a great way to ease into creative writing or new sentence styles. The  thought of writing a paragraph sometimes […]

Making Time for Vocabulary Instruction that Matters

Years and years ago, before I had been bitten by the writing workshop bug, I became obsessed with vocabulary instruction. My school used a series of vocabulary workbooks at each grade level, and I had witnessed how that approach didn’t worked. Not for real. Not for the long term. Some students would dutifully memorize the […]

Mentor Text Monday: Engaging Students with HUMANS OF NEW YORK

Mentor Text:  Humans of New York — blog and book by Brandon Stanton Also: LIttle Humans —book by Brandon Stanton Writing Techniques: Effective interviewing Fusing images and text Concision & drilling down to the essentials Background: While I’m off, I am dreaming of the mentor texts and units of study that will fill my second […]