Lesson Plans

Innovative lessons/ideas for teaching creative writing, as well as samples of student writing resulting from the lesson. See complete submission guidelines here.

Prompts for Figurative Writing

By Laura Campbell-Lui I am a reading specialist with the New York City Department of Education. My students are designated as at risk before they are assigned to me. The students I work with the most have issues such as limited phonemic awareness and/or phonics acquisition, limited vocabularies, learning disabilities, or visual impairments. Some are…

Writing in the Wild: Beyond the 5-Paragraph Essay

by Tricia Ebarvia This article was originally published at movingwriters.org. “What do you think about when you hear the word essay?” A moment of silence. Some confused looks. Others, blank stares. A few, smirks. It’s late afternoon, September, last period. My AP Lang class and I are in the midst of finishing up our discussion of Joan Didion’s wonderful…

Playwriting at VISIONS

By Dave Johnson, Jessie Paddock, and Samantha Thomson LoCoco In spring 2017, T&W teaching artists Dave Johnson, Jessie Paddock, and Samantha Thomson LoCoco led a playwriting program for older adults at VISIONS: Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The outline below is an overview of the six writing lessons that preceded participants’ rehearsals and…

4 Ways of Looking at a Mentor Text: Incidental Comics

by Tricia Ebarvia This article was originally published at movingwriters.org. The school year is winding down—and I find myself thinking more and more of warm poolside days—yet everywhere I turn, rich mentor texts seem to come my way. I’ll find something and think, “Oh, that would have been perfect to use with ____” or “That would have…

PS 457 Young Leadership Academy/Teachers & Writers Collaborative Partnership Program Snapshot

T&W teaching artists Alba Delia Hernandez and Samantha LoCoco conducted a 20-session residency at PS 457, Young Leadership Academy, in the Bronx with second-grade gifted and talented students. The students learned about figurative language and poetic structure and examined a range of diverse authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Willie Perdomo, Pablo Neruda, Kwame Dawes, and…

Songwriting at VISIONS

By Dave Johnson and Allison Moorer  In winter–spring 2017, T&W teaching artists Dave Johnson and Allison Moorer led a series of songwriting workshops for older adults at VISIONS: Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The following lessons introduce students to the fundamentals of songwriting. T&W thanks Aroha Philanthropies for its generous support of our…

PS 188 Kingsbury School/T&W: Partnership Program Snapshot

T&W teaching artist Amina Henry conducted a 20-session poetry residency at PS 188, the Kingsbury School, in Bayside, Queens with third- and fourth-grade gifted and talented classes. Kirsten Chen, who was a T&W editorial associate in 2016–2017, had an email conversation with one of Henry’s classroom teacher partners, Jessica Wingfield, about the program’s impact.  Teachers…

Language and War: A Unit Plan for English Class

by Tim Myers Editors note: This article was originally published in Teachers & Writers Magazine 1997. Can adolescents learn anything profound about the intricate and powerful relationship between language and war? In a century haunted by phrases such as “acceptable losses” and “mutually assured destruction,” can we as teachers help guide our students to some…

Avoiding Plagiarism: The Melania Trump Speech

By Erika Luckert This lesson from T&W teaching artist Erika Luckert helps students understand the importance of acknowledging and citing sources, and gives them an opportunity to practice revising to avoid plagiarism. Grade(s): 9–12 Genre: Nonfiction, Essay Download: Avoiding Plagiarism: The Melania Trump Speech  Common Core Standards (Refer to ELA Standards > Writing > Grade…

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