from the teaching files of
Barbara Jean Hicks
In these days of standards-based education and accountability, the pressure is on administrators and teachers to make sure everything they do helps their students reach academic benchmarks. Sometimes it must feel as if the creative spirit that led educators to the profession in the first place is struggling to survive.
Anything we can do as authors to refresh the creative spirit of both teachers and students will be doubly welcome if we address those all-important academic standards along the way. And who better to talk to kids about writing than a published author?
- Students write brief narratives describing an experience.
- Students write narratives that: a) establish a plot, point of view, setting and conflict; and b) show, rather than tell, the events of the story.
- Students write descriptions that use concrete sensory details to present and support unified impressions of people, places, things, or experiences.
- Students create multiple-paragraph narrative compositions that: a) establish and develop a situation or plot; b) describe the setting; and c) present an ending.
- Students write narratives that: a) relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience; b) provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience; c) use concrete sensory details; and d) provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable.
- Students write brief narratives based on their experiences that: a) move through a logical sequence of events; and b) describe the setting, characters, objects and events in detail.
TO THINK ABOUT:
1) What are your state’s educational standards for writing? Find the standards specific to your state by googling “(your state) academic standards” or “(your state) educational standards.”
2) How can you address your state’s writing standards in your school visit workshops and presentations? For each of your published children’s books and/or works in progress, find at least one state writing standard around which you could develop a workshop or program element.
3) For those of you with experience in school visits, have you used a writing activity in a school presentation or workshop that worked especially well? What was it? Share with us!