George Lucas Educational Foundation
Teacher Leadership

All You Can Learn: Differentiated Instruction Inspires Young Writers

826 LA in partnership with a local high school serves up some delicious prose.

    Cal Joy is Edutopia's Director of Web Development and resident pancake breakfast maker extraordinaire. She spent a weekend in LA to attend the 826 reading, and had this to report.

    Baking a book takes time. 826LA intern Neekta Khorsand has worked with Los Angeles student, Brian Young and his forty-three fellow student authors on location at Dorsey High for several months. Their delicious creation is From the Couch to the Kitchen: A Book to Indulge In. 826ers believe in meeting students where they are academically, providing one-on-one attention, and understanding students' individual learning histories. Differentiated instruction focuses on each student, getting the right ingredients needed to nurture their skills. Approaching all learners the same academically doesn't work. 826 writing programs focus on where students are in their learning process. Using individually prepared instruction, 826LA takes a custom approach connecting each student's skill level to an appropriate assignment.

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    Credit: Cal Joy
    "Whenever you are, we're already then." Provocative statements are not the only creative challenges to greet you at 826LA (left); 826 stores boldly embrace unique themes. Enter the 826LA Time Travel Mart and you'll be warmly greeted by time travel expert Shannon Losorelli.


    Credit: Cal Joy
    The Time Travel Mart is stocked with essential items critical for young travelers (left); Proof is found in the pudding. 826 creates project learning programs where students publish all manner of finished products, newspapers, books, and films. Maren Levinson reviews a new title in the 826LA bookstore.


    All 826 centers cater to students, aged six to eighteen, with the goal of assisting students with their writing skills and helping teachers get their classes excited about creative writing. 826 provides in-school support for classroom teachers the current sister centers include Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. 826 National is the umbrella organization that coordinates and encourages groups to open their own 826 tutoring and mentorship centers.