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Librarian for Pinellas County Schools

Enjoyed your article

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Enjoyed your article ..."Write what you know," there are no strings attached.
There seems to be some writing programs that kill imagination ...I had to teach a proscribed writing seminar about 8 years ago...it was so dreadful I have totally forgotten the name of it. The worse thing is that the school probably paid $$$$$ for it. I am a firm believer that children who read a lot - will have no trouble writing. (conventions and spelling aside). We have a storytelling festival in my county and my students read lots of stories to get ready. They must rewrite a traditional tale or write an original story to participate. I also judge at the festival and am amazed at some of the original tales...so kids are writing out there. Shame on the teacher who squashed the Jupitor robot warriors. Of course learning to write nonfiction is an important skill for children....and there are childre , just like some adults (me for instance) who prefer non-fiction.

Librarian for Pinellas County Schools

Enjoyed your article

Was this helpful?
0

Enjoyed your article ..."Write what you know," there are no strings attached.
There seems to be some writing programs that kill imagination ...I had to teach a proscribed writing seminar about 8 years ago...it was so dreadful I have totally forgotten the name of it. The worse thing is that the school probably paid $$$$$ for it. I am a firm believer that children who read a lot - will have no trouble writing. (conventions and spelling aside). We have a storytelling festival in my county and my students read lots of stories to get ready. They must rewrite a traditional tale or write an original story to participate. I also judge at the festival and am amazed at some of the original tales...so kids are writing out there. Shame on the teacher who squashed the Jupitor robot warriors. Of course learning to write nonfiction is an important skill for children....and there are children , just like some adults (me for instance) who prefere non-fiction.

my reading-writing connection

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I tore through fiction books after school and they inspired me to begin writing many different epic books that I was sure would be just the best thing ever written in the moment. Those biographical book reports I did in school never inspired the same kind excitement or experimentation with writing and I was bored with journal assignments. Reading can be fun. Writing can be fun. I like the Learn To Write series for K-2 grade levels: http://www.pacificlearning.com/p-4726-learn-to-write-complete-classroom-... I read these books and want to do the writing activities, especially Fairy Tale Mail and How Can I Get a Pet?

Retired teacher and administrator

How To Teach Writing

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When my oldest son was in first grade he brought home a book he had written: "The Bat Who Eats Children." It was a combination of the plot of"Hansel and Gretel" and characters he'd seen on sesame Street. The story was fully formed and technically correct. (No children were eaten in the story. They escaped.) Also the children's speeches in it were true to the way real children talk.

In my own teaching I encouraged students to use the kinds of literature they were reading as a base for their own writing. Some of it turned out to be strongly imitative, with only a few things changed, but other writers began to fly once they had basic fiction and non-fiction forms firmly in their heads. I never taught form as an algorithm, just the literature itself, but my students had little difficulty learning various forms.

As a researcher in high poverty classrooms with large numbers of English language learners, I have seen teachers use this approach, and it works for them, too. Based on my experiences and beliefs, I wrote a book entitled "Teaching Writing in Mixed Language Classrooms" in 2009. I firmly believe that reading and the study of different types of literature is the way to teach writing.

teacher elementary

I agree wholeheartedly! It's

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I agree wholeheartedly! It's a genre/mode of writing and even young writers can write fiction stories. I've taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd and I've noticed during the "free write" time of my Writer's Workshop, the young students often wrote their own stories with favorite characters in them: Junie B, George and Martha, etc. Certainly one way to get them to move beyond "what I did in the park" narratives.

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