With Katherine Bomer's book Hidden Gems in mind, I take a close look at a text by an upper grade student and offer my analysis of what's going well, what I'd teach next. Read more
Many teachers launch poetry units in April to honor National Poetry Month, so here are five notebook strategies that can support your poetry unit. As you read through them, you’ll find that these also fit or could be adapted to other units of study. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to teach the same … Continue reading Notebook strategies to help generate and revise poems
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?
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)
I recently helped judge a story writing contest, and one of the criteria on the assessment form I was provided was: Does the story have a beginning, middle and end? As I began reading the entries, I quickly discovered that this was not useful assessment criteria.
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)