Endings: What Can You Teach?

As promised, this post continues our conversation on beginning, middle and end in story writing. I should be candid. I'm struggling with what to say in this post, because the logical me wants to simply go back to those three stories that we looked at earlier and analyze the endings--just as we did the beginnings. … Continue reading Endings: What Can You Teach?

Beginnings: 3 Examples (and Why They Work)

After my post about "Beginnings, Middles and Ends" a few weeks ago, a teacher-friend reached out to me. "When I tell students I want them to work on 'the beginning,' I don't mean all that rising action you mentioned," she said. "I am talking about much simpler stuff. I just want them to write an … Continue reading Beginnings: 3 Examples (and Why They Work)

4 Craft Strategies to Notice in “The Leaving Morning” (and Why)

Writing workshop teachers use exemplary texts ("touchstone texts") in the curriculum. We read these texts over and over with students, invite students to share what they notice about the craft of these texts, point out new craft strategies that students are ready to comprehend, and invite students to try using these or similar strategies in … Continue reading 4 Craft Strategies to Notice in “The Leaving Morning” (and Why)

How to Read a Poem

Readers and writers have strong - and disparate - opinions about the "right" way to read a poem. Worse yet, there's wide disagreement among accomplished and highly educated poets, too. There's really only one point we all agree on - poems are meant to be read aloud. Beyond that, it gets dicey, but here are … Continue reading How to Read a Poem

Display and honor writers’ thinking (not just final products)

I am a sucker for art and teacher supply stores. Since I've typically been a visiting writer or the teacher-onwheels who rotates between classrooms, I've rarely had the opportunity to create a bulletin board. But boy can I imagine what my students and I would build together if I had the space! For starters, I'd … Continue reading Display and honor writers’ thinking (not just final products)