Category: Writing

Stop Boring Nonfiction Writing. Save the World.

Writing interesting nonfiction is a valuable student skill. So why is most of it so boring? A focus on content and conventions isn’t sufficient, says teacher Angie Miller. See her strategies to help kids read like writers and engage audiences with writing that fascinates.

The Grammar Bachelor: A Team Learning Activity

For many students, grammar is mostly about memorizing rules and having teachers correct their mistakes. Author Sean Ruday’s Bachelor Grammar activity helps them see how authors use grammatical concepts purposefully to make a piece of writing as strong as possible.

Teach Students to Write for Real-Life Contexts

Today’s students have to learn to shift their writing styles to meet different real-life purposes, says ELA teacher-author Jeremy Hyler. Teachers should understand the different contexts (school, work, and personal) and help students learn to “code switch” as needed.

How We Learned to Love Writing Together

This story by Ruth Ayres, from her new book Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers, is a holiday gift to novice educators everywhere and to any teachers still wondering whether their students can ever learn to love writing so much they stop turning in incomplete assignments.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Middle Grades Writer

Middle graders are unique, often unpredictable writers who are thirsty to refine their own personal voice. To help them succeed, literacy consultant Patty McGee recommends offering adolescent writers individual feedback that is present, empathetic, and choice-filled.

12 Great Reads for the National Day of Writing

NCTE’s National Day on Writing (#WhyIWrite) is Friday, October 20. To help celebrate, we’ve pulled together a dozen of the many great posts about teaching writing that are freely available at MiddleWeb. You’ll find ideas, inspiration, and ready-to-use activities here.

Using a Daybook to Promote Student Writing

When low-risk, high-interest writing becomes a daily habit for all of your students, whatever your content area, they’ll discover the powerful write-think-learn connection. Teacher-author and NBCT Mary Tedrow shares her classroom-tested “daybook” method for getting started.

Three Fun Activities to Keep Students Writing

Writers get better by writing, says author and ELA teacher Marilyn Pryle. “It’s our job to have students write regularly, genuinely, and with ownership.” She shares three fun writing tasks (including directions, a model and a prewrite activity) that get the job done!

Rethink First-Day Writing to Better Engage Kids

Literacy coach Shawna Coppola urges us to rethink the familiar start-of-year writing activity – the personal narrative. In its place she suggests a framework of ideas to free students to write about what interests them. As we try new approaches, we also renew ourselves.

Teacher: Step Away From That Red Pen!

Young writers will blossom when teachers trade in their red pens for an appreciative approach to feedback, says consultant Patty McGee. As writing mentors, teachers help students achieve quality writing with originality, voice, and style. McGee includes more than a dozen teaching tools.