Category: Writing

Celebrate Poetry Month with 5 Fun Activities

Teaching poetry can give students a sense of connection, collaboration, and creativity as they express themselves and read the expressions of others. During National Poetry Month, teacher-author Marilyn Pryle shares fun activities from her classroom that touch on all three.

Freeing Students to Write What They Know

In an era of ‘writing to text’ and responding to prompts, students may not eagerly respond to our invitations to “write free!” ELA teacher and cartoonist David Lee Finkle uses an interest based mapping strategy to convince his writers they have something worth writing about.

Writing Workshop Ideas for the Middle Grades

Writing workshop can be an exciting part of the day for students in the middle, writes author and workshop expert Lynne Dorfman. Even when middle level schedules aren’t a great fit for extended workshop writing, teachers can nurture “writerly” attitudes with daily quickwrites.

10 Actions That Put Student Writers First

How do we put our young writers first? We seek to develop a mindset and actions that provide opportunity, dignity, and encouragement, says literacy expert Regie Routman. Then we carefully tailor feedback that celebrates strengths and boosts each and every writer’s confidence.

Staging ‘Story in a Bag’ in Your Room or Online

Get kids engaged in narrative writing using Story in a Bag. ELA consultant Lynne Dorfman shows how this hands-on activity enlivens in-class and distance learning as it helps students build their writing fluency and encourages them to learn problem solving on the spot.

Peer Conferences Keep the Writing Momentum Going

Students need more writing support than we can possibly offer them, writes literacy consultant Lynne R. Dorfman. Peer conferences are a safe, supportive structure that will help writers grow in their problem-solving capacity while experiencing the joy of collaboration.

Our Students Need a New Definition of Writing

The narrow “alphabetic” definition of writing found in many school classrooms actively disengages youth, says literacy author Shawna Coppola. Students simply prefer to compose using forms that incorporate visual, aural, and multimodal texts as a way to make or enhance meaning.

Five-Step, Never-Fail Character Sketching

Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.

Students Write Better for Authentic Audiences

Writing for authentic audiences motivates students to do their best work, says English department chair Kasey Short. Public audiences offer a practical reason to revise and edit and allow students’ ideas to have real impact. See her tips to transform routine assignments.

Why Teachers Need to Write with Students

Being a teacher who writes is the secret to being a successful teacher of writers! To help up your game, consultant and author Stacey Shubitz suggests ways to share your own writing in class with students and offers hints on how to develop and stimulate a personal writing habit.