Mentor sentences are an excellent tool to use in the secondary ELA classroom to model essential skills from grammar to literary devices. They reinforce quality writing skills from published in authors in a positive way rather than the traditional sentence correction method that modeled negative traits.
Love it or hate it, poetry is unavoidable in the secondary ELA classroom. I, for one, am a HUGE lover of poetry but fully acknowledge that it can be annoyingly cryptic at times. Reading poetry reminds us that not all texts are meant to be beat "with a hose to find out what [they] really mean" like in the Billy Collins poem "Introduction to Poetry."
In screenwriting (writing for movies and TV), the logline is key to brainstorming story ideas and also selling them or "pitching" them to buyers. Crafting loglines can help the writer to flesh out new plot ideas before writing the entire script. It's much easier to revise the logline rather than an entire hundred page script!
TeachWriting.org has announced a new writing project for the 2017-2018 school year. This year, the collaborators at TeachWriting are creating DAILY WRITING PROMPTS via their Facebook Page.
This fall, a group of English teachers is coming together to share tips, strategies, and lessons for teaching English on the secondary level through Facebook LIVE! This series will take place from August 1-15, and a different English teacher will broadcast every single day.
I will be broadcasting on August 2nd at 9:00pm EST, and I am so excited to share strategies for crafting commentary for literary analysis essays. This is the one essay skill that is a challenge for both students and teachers. Hopefully, we can come together to share ideas for how to target this writing skill from the very beginning of the school year!
Be sure to follow the Bespoke ELA Facebook Page so that you will be alerted when I go LIVE.
Here is the lineup of topics and presenters for the ELA LIVE Series. Click on each presenter to go directly to that person's Facebook page for their FB LIVE broadcast! We hope to see you in the comments.
The term “struggling” writer really applies to every single human being. We have all struggled with writing at some point and will continue to struggle moving forward. The difference between successful writers and unsuccessful writers (“success” being defined as students who turn in completed essays that convey meaning effectively versus those who do not) lies in being able to work through frustration.
Essay shaping sheets are essentially templates for writing that guide students through the writing process. A shaping sheet can be as small as a sentence template or as large as an entire paragraph or even essay. But are these tools helpful, or do they ultimately hinder student development? Well, the million-dollar answer to this question is… it depends.