How to Begin With A Character

An alternative to giving students  a writing prompt, try having students begin by getting to know a character.  I have spent the past several months studying character development for my work-in-progress. Now I have put together some activities to help students get to know their characters. We start with the more superficial elements as students

Writing: Especially for Teachers

I love having the opportunity to share writing ideas with teachers. Hearing about their students brings back wonderful classroom memories. Always a lot of fun! With this being teachers’ convention season, I have decided to dedicate my February blog to classroom writing tips and activities. To develop effective writers, students feel confident—to view themselves as

Questions To Ask Your Character (for young writers)

February is looming just around the corner, and with it comes Teachers’ Convention season in Alberta. In honour of teachers and the great work they do, I have decided to gear the next few posts to budding young authors. When it comes to getting to know your protagonist (main character) it might be fun to

Create A Class book

It’s getting to that time of year again. The time when my daughter begins to think about the tiny treasures she will find in each drawer of her special advent calendar. Ever since she received this cool 3D tree, with each individual drawer painted by her Nana,  Advent has become a much anticipated event. Who

Teachers Make A Difference

It’s Friday. Thank Goodness, you say, wondering if this frantic pace is ever going to slow down. It’s like a race without a finish line. You begin to wonder if you’ll be in an old folks home before you have time to put up your feet and have a cup of tea, without a stack

Write Alongside Your Students

Last Friday I was in Strathmore conducting writing workshops for the Golden Hills Division teachers.  One of the most valuable tips I passed along was the importance of teachers modelling the writing process.  Today, I found confirmation for the wisdom of this practice in Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher. Modelling the writing process is

Write Stuff For Teachers: Writing Prompts

  You find a shiny coin sticking out from under the dead leaves on the ground. At first you think it is money so you pick it up. That’s when you see the imprint of a spider on the coin. You wipe off the dirt and are instantly turned into a spider.  Tell what happens.

Write Stuff For Teachers: Fun With Words

Tongue twisters are a lot of fun and work with a wide (notice the alliteration) range of ages.  When I have a group of unmotivated writers, if I start with tongue twisters, they are immediately engaged. Everyone loves a good tongue twister. And because no one has picked up a pencil yet, the tension evaporates.

WRITESTUFF FOR TEACHERS: Fun With Idioms

This week, I seem to be all about resources, so while I’m on a roll… There is no better tool for teaching idioms than a Wallace Edwards picture book.  And there are several. I have used Monkey Business and The Cat’s Pajamas, but there are others. Edwards uses the idiom in a sentence and then