978-1-57110-358-1 / 9781571103581

Writing for Real: Strategies for Engaging Adolescent Writers


Publisher:Stenhouse Publishers



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About the book:

Getting adolescents to love writing is one of the most difficult tasks a teacher faces. But for nearly twenty years, something miraculous happened in an eighth-grade classroom on Long Island: not only did adolescents learn to love to write, they also learned how to write effectively and eloquently in a wide range of genres for multiple audiences.

In Writing for Real,Ross Burkhardt offers a wealth of writing strategies--collected over his career as a classroom teacher and key figure in middle level education--that give kids real reasons to write. By keeping the strategies grounded in the real world and in students' interests, kids become more engaged than they would from canned exercises. Teacher/student dialogues introduce concepts in an authentic setting. The strategies are also designed to be developmentally appropriate for young adolescents. Throughout the book, examples of student writing represent a range of developmental levels and a variety of forms, such as free-verse poetry, interior monologues, and personal essays.

Readers can regard this book as a toolbox, using strategies as they need them. The "In a Nutshell" sections at the beginning of chapters provide teachers with a blueprint for trying out these strategies in their own classroom. Or the book can be used as a guide for a complete school year curriculum for teaching writing. Readers will learn how to:
  • lay the groundwork for a writing community on the first day of school;
  • motivate kids to write;
  • get kids to care about the conventions of English, including grammar and mechanics;
  • help kids master specific forms from traditional genres and modes of writing to new forms of expression;
  • effectively model "the teacher as writer";
  • successfully organize writing groups;
  • deepen student response to writing;
  • use classroom publication to promote good writing;
  • connect writing to life through journals;
  • compose "occasional writing" to celebrate individuals and events.
Combining a deep passion for both teaching writing and educating adolescents, Writing for Real offers readers a window into a master teacher's classroom. Whether you work with struggling writers or kids who already love to write, these strategies will engage your students in meaningful tasks that teach them the thrill and power of good, effective, purposeful writing.

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