Tag: Minilessons

Endings: What Can You Teach?

To me, endings are all about the take-away. What do you want readers to know, feel, do, think or wonder about after they finish reading your story? You can’t write an ending until you decide that.

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…

4 Craft Strategies to Notice in THE LEAVING MORNING (and Why)

The best touchstone texts are sophisticated enough to work across multiple grade and comprehension levels. One of the first—and still one of the most frequent—touchstone texts that I used was THE LEAVING MORNING by Angela Johnson. Here are just a few of the brilliant craft strategies my students and I have discovered in it:

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 some things to consider.

Now that’s a Story: Learn from a 1st Grade Writer

The story below is one of my favorites from our 2011 anthology, probably because I envy the author a bit. Click the video below to follow along as Cody reads it, then I’ll tell you why I’m jealous. Get the video and read more here. Written for Indiana Partnership for Young Writers

My 5 most frequently used notebook strategies

Images of dialogue recorded in Julie's notebooks

People always ask, “How do you come up with ideas for writing?” So I analyzed my writer’s notebook and identified my most frequently used strategies for recording, nurturing, and thinking about story content. Here’s what I found: