powerful moments in education
So impressed at the quick and thoughtful response I received today. Thanks, Ralph Fletcher. At this moment, I only have time to post the reply, but I will keep you posted on the path I choose to take as this week unfolds.Hi Jaclyn,Wow. Fascinating. I won’t be able to give you the long, thoughtful response you deserve. I can see you are a fine teacher, and more than willing to rethink your instruction. I think it’s a bit harsh to say the stories have no structure. It sounds like there’s a clear structure,albeit a predictable and repetitive one. No depth? Well, did Talladega Nights have depth? Sometimes writing is just fun. Still, I do understand your desire for something more substantial. They might benefit from a genre study on sports writing. Have them read sports commentary (Dan Shaughnessey in the Globe, or Rick Reilly). Do a class reading of Travel Team by Lupica. Good sports writing has strong characters, a sense of place, etc. My next book, Guy-Write: What Every Guy Should Know About Writing, will be helpful but isn’t out til next spring. It has a chapter on sports writing. If all else fails, you might have to call a halt/moratorium on those stories for a few weeks.Good luck! By the way, have you seen my newest professional book–Mentor Author, Mentor Text (Heinemann). It has 24 mentor texts written by me, each one followed by “writer’s notes” in which I unpack the piece and explain what I’m trying to do. Check it out.
So- teachers out there- how do you balance the free choice and guided choice that is so important in a Writer’s Workshop? Non-teachers, what were your writing experiences?
Thank you, friends.