Filed under Language Arts Lessons

6-Word Memoirs

6-Word Memoirs

In a New York Times opinion column this  fall, Larry Smith, founder and editor of Smith Magazine,  suggested that his six-word memoir format is a good one for recording our pandemic times. I agree. Six-word memoirs are exactly what they sound like, an expression of a memory or a moment in time, limited to six … Continue reading

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. In the midst of a spreading pandemic, many of us will be missing holiday traditions and large family gatherings to stay safely at home. As we do, we’ll be trying to figure out how we can connect virtually and—if we are creative—perhaps invent new and valuable traditions. … Continue reading

Revising Our Thinking About Revising

Revising Our Thinking About Revising

Recently, I’ve been thinking about writing. I’ve been reading research about writers and thinking about how it relates to the writing students do in schools—virtual or otherwise. Of course, there are many kinds of writing students need to learn, much of it used to express their ideas in various domains: essays about history, reviews of … Continue reading

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

It is autumn in Michigan, that beautiful season that fills me with equal amounts of awe and dread. Crisp fall days with glorious leaves and (pre-COVID) cider mill trips are some of the most beautiful of the year. But we all know what’s coming next. Winds come, leaves fall, and November gloom descends before we … Continue reading

Brandon Leake: America’s Got Creative Talent

Brandon Leake: America’s Got Creative Talent

I’m not a regular watcher of America’s Got Talent, but the pandemic changes many things. So, recently, I ended up watching the last few episodes of the talent competition. There were singers, lightening-speed dancers, magicians, death-defying aerialists, and one extraordinary spoken word artist, Brandon Leake. The first time I heard his poetry, it took my … Continue reading

Jarrett Lerner to the Rescue

Jarrett Lerner to the Rescue

Want to make a comic book? Create a character? Play a scribble game? Do you really really need some summer fun when activities are closed?  Author/illustrator Jarrett Lerner has your back. Lerner, author of books like EngiNerds (and Revenge of the EngiNerds!), has a wonderful website, full of treasures for teachers, students and parents. There’s … Continue reading

Write. Right.  Rite.

Write. Right. Rite.

So many of us have had to adapt our jobs to new conditions because of COVID19, but you wouldn’t think writers would be much affected. But for award-winning author Jason Reynolds, some important things have changed. Reynolds is the 2020-21 National Ambassador for Children’s Literature for the Library of Congress. Normally, this would have meant … Continue reading

What’s in the HUTCH? A Chance for Creativity!

What’s in the HUTCH? A Chance for Creativity!

Sometimes even the most interesting creative project can start to feel like a burden. Experiments don’t work and have to be redesigned. Poetry needs editing. Interviews have to be transcribed and paintings need work. Those moments, when the initial inspiration and excitement have to give way to persistence and hard work, can be particularly discouraging … Continue reading

Improv in the Classroom: Yes, and. . . .

Improv in the Classroom: Yes, and. . . .

We are soon to have another actor in the family! My husband has worked in theater for many years so much of our life has revolved around the show-of-the-moment. We can recite dialog from one show or another for almost any occasion. Now we are becoming enmeshed in a different theatrical form, as our nephew … Continue reading

Try Some Star Spangled Imagery

Try Some Star Spangled Imagery

I’m not a sports fan. I almost never care who wins the Super Bowl. I’ll admit this year I rooted for the Pats, but that’s mostly because the older I get, the more I appreciate Tom Brady’s longevity. But regardless, when the Super Bowl comes, I want to see the ads. This year my favorite … Continue reading