About Writing

Students Tell Their Stories Digitally

Author: Joel Elliott Summary: When designing a digital storytelling workshop, it may be easy to forget that it’s really about the telling of stories and the writing practices that generate powerful narratives. This piece provides a good conceptual starting point and reminder that in such settings, students are more engaged,...

The Politics of Correction: How We Can Nurture Students in Their Writing and Help Them Learn the Language of Power

Author: Linda Christensen Summary: This brief yet powerful article by Linda Christensen is sure to encourage thoughtful and extended professional dialogue among educators grappling with dilemmas about students’ home and school language. Christensen describes practical strategies for honoring students’ home language while also helping them achieve greater command of the...

A Cure for Writer’s Block: Writing for Real Audiences

Author: Ann Rodier Summary: This teacher describes how she connects as a writer to a student whose drafts begin to find a real audience. She discovers that by guiding student writers toward an authentic purpose for their writing, young authors can see themselves as professional writers. Use this narrative as...

Metaphors, Frames, and Fact (Checks) about the Common Core

Author: Anne Elrod Whitney and Patrick Shannon Summary: This article offers a critique of the Common Core State Standards by examining its political history and the controlling metaphors on which it is based. It would be of particular interest to a study group or as a resource in a professional...

Literacy Coaches Explore Their Work Through Vignettes

Author: Carrie Usui Summary: What is the work of a literacy coach? Twelve UCLA Writing Project teacher-consultants serving as literacy coaches in the LA Unified School District spent a weekend retreat exploring that question by writing vignettes as a way to illustrate what it is they do as coaches. Here...

Place-Based Poetry, Modeling One Revision at a Time

Author: Ann Gardner Summary: With the goal of helping her students create free-form poetry that engages “the part of their brains that allows them to crawl into deep recesses of memory, shake hidden treasures awake, and write from their souls,” Ann Gardner illustrates each step of the writing process she...

Teachers’ Writing Groups: Collaborative Inquiry and Reflection for Professional Growth (Review)

Author: Caroline Griswold Summary: In this book review, Caroline Griswold describes and recommends Teachers’ Writing Groups: Collaborative Inquiry and Reflection for Professional Growth, a book developed by leaders and teachers at Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project. The book is “like the best writing project work, both practical and personal, and is full of useful ideas for...

National Survey on New Forms of Writing

Summary: This national survey (2009) looks at public opinion related to the importance of writing for work and personal life and how well we are preparing young Americans to write. Along with expressing dissatisfaction with their own writing ability and with the job high schools are currently doing to train...

Are You Ready for College Writing?

Author: Mary Ann Smith Summary: What is college writing like? This report describes a series of pilot workshops for high school juniors focused on this question. Students in the workshops quickly discovered that college writing is not the traditional five-paragraph essay. Instead, it is multifaceted, always involves critical thinking, and...

Revision and Writing Groups in the First Grade: Finding the Black Ninja Fish

Author: Joanna Franklin Summary: After her experience participating in a writing group in her NWP summer institute, this teacher/author developed an instructional sequence in order to teach revision in her first grade class. She begins in September with students rereading their writing, advances through Author’s Chair and the creation of...