I Am and the Wish

I Am by Marguerite (2nd grade) I am the flower below your feet above the grass. I am the cloud in the sky over the sun. I am the pencil in your hand writing. I am the pie in the window of the bakery. I am the star that shines in the sky and watches you…

Words, Images and Music: How We Enter

2018 Winner of the Bechtel Prize By Julie Landsman Author and T&W Board member Tayari Jones selected Julie Landsman’s essay “Words, Images, and Music: How We Enter” as the 2018 Bechtel Prize winner. Teachers & Writers Collaborative awards the annual Bechtel Prize to the author of an essay that explores themes related to creative writing,…

Music and Memory: A Conversation with Julie Landsman

By Wynne Kontos Julie Landsman is a writer, a painter, and an educator who spent thirty years in the public school system and now dedicates her time to the elder population facing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Landsman’s Bechtel Prize–winning piece, “Words, Images and Music: How We Enter,” chronicles her life as both an educator and a…

Conferring with Kids

By Ralph Fletcher The text below is an excerpt from The Writing Teacher’s Companion: Embracing Choice, Voice, Purpose & Play by Ralph Fletcher. This excerpt was reprinted with permission from Scholastic. Conferring is simply a conversation with another writer. Let’s not make it more complicated than it needs to be. —Ruth Ayres The writing time is the…

VISIONS: poets

T&W was pleased to partner with VISIONS at Selis Manor to present VISIONS: poets, a workshop series in which adults explored classic and contemporary poems and wrote their own poems in response. The workshop was led by teaching artists Dave Johnson and Virginia Valenzuela. Visions: poets is an anthology of original poems from workshops held…

The Walk Poem

by Ron Padgett Guess what. The walk poem involves a walk. The interesting thing is that there are so many ways for the walk to be a part of the poem, and the poem to be a part of the walk. Writing poems about a walk has a long history, going back at least as…

The College Application Essay as a Descriptive Narrative

By Amina Henry  In this essay-writing lesson, T&W writer Amina Henry helps students generate ideas and practice writing the college application essay.  Grade: 11th–12th  Genre: Personal Essay Download: The College Application Essay as a Descriptive Narrative Common Core State Standards (Refer to the ELA Standards > Writing > Grade 11–12): ELA-LITERACY.W.11–12.2.D: Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary,…

The Art of Observation

By Alice Pencavel  In T&W teaching artist Alice Pencavel’s lesson plan, students explore the art of observation, integrate their observations into their writing, and deepen their appreciation for craft through examining word choice. Grade: 4th  Genre(s): Poetry Download: The Art of Observation Common Core Learning Standard (Refer to the ELA Standards > Writing > Grade…

I Am a Human Mask

The wonderful art teacher, Ms. Agramonte, arranged for this arts residency for her students’ mask making unit at PS/IS 218 in the Bronx. Lots of fun and deep philosophical discussions went into creating this book, “I am a Human Mask”. The title comes from student Alexander Quito’s poem. With a focus on masks, I visited…

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