Category

Narrative Writing

Category

This week, I had the opportunity to make and write personal narratives with writers and teachers from Fieldstone Middle School in North Rockland, New York. And I thought I’d share that process with you, so that you may iterate on it and share your own ideas and work back with the rest of us. We’ve been talking about narrative writing all month in my Facebook group, Building Better Writers, and I know that at least…

Alignment matters. Defining the standards we expect students to meet, making them accessible to the kids we serve, and assessing and supporting progress toward them–this matters. Much. I’m not merely referring to state standards, either. I’m referring to the standards that our best practitioners–the experts in our field–have defined for us, based on decades of research. I’m referring to our personal standards and the ones that our school communities hold dear. I’m referring to the…

I’ve spent this entire week traveling all over Alberta, Canada. I’ve worked with primary and intermediate level teachers, and I’ve worked with middle and high school teachers. I’ve worked with English and Science and Social Studies teachers. I’ve worked with French teachers. I’ve worked with Math teachers. And I’ve also worked with ELL teachers.¬†They support the Hutterites who live in their communities. Those children were born and raised in Canada. German is their first…

More and more often, I’m invited to work not only with school districts, but with other organizations that are interested in telling their stories. Stories matter. They center us. They propel us forward. They change the trajectories of our work and our lives and the lives of the people we serve. They’re bigger than branding, and they’re far more than marketing tools. That’s why it’s important to value the story writing process as much as…

I designed this document yesterday for intermediate level teachers who are leading their students through a narrative writing unit. It includes the best of what we all know about adding great detail to this particular type of writing, and it was inspired by another document that always fabulous Amy Ludwig Vanderwater designed specifically for teachers. This is a kid-friendly version, and it includes guidance, slices of mentor text, and prompts to support young writers. Once…

Proponents of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth argue that this basic pattern underpins most narratives and that when writers deepen their understanding of this structure, they are often better able to craft their own stories. Grasping monomyth empowers writers to tinker around with it as well, questioning the traditional order of events and even experimenting with new and unexpected forms. Interested in establishing a foundational understanding of the hero’s journey with very young writers? The tools below…