Through ideas and practices straight from the classrooms of outstanding teachers, this lively resource illustrates writing that makes an impact on a reader, a writer, or a cause—writing that everyone wants to read. The book is rich with student work that shows how writing can make things happen in the world. The authors provide ready-to-use lessons that include a full range of writing, including poetry, narrative, petitions, proposals, emails, self-reflections, long-term projects, and critical analyses.
- Incorporates the voices and practices of many talented writing teachers.
- Employs an upbeat style with a clear, easy-to-follow framework.
- Encourages writing that changes minds, tells stories, calls for action, creates awareness or empathy, touches emotions, or promotes new thinking.
- Provides accessible teaching ideas, short exercises, and student models.
- Builds on students’ experiences with social media and their interest in social issues.
“Young people yearn to have an impact on the world but often lack the tools to make change. Sandra Murphy and Mary Ann Smith demonstrate how shifting the focus and purposes for writing can turn students’ frustration with the status quo into action. There’s no time to waste. The need for change—both in school and in society—is urgent. “
—Carol Jago, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English and associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA
“In true National Writing Project style, Sandy Murphy and Mary Ann Smith take us inside the classrooms of remarkable teachers to see how they create contexts for young writers to pursue writing they care about for purposes that matter. Readers will find lots to take back to their own settings to engage this remarkable generation of young people in our classrooms, but I suspect they will also find some ‘mojo’ for themselves as writers and teachers who want to make an impact.”
—Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, executive director, National Writing Project