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.

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…

Earth Day Delicious Details

Matthew Burgess, poet, educator, and long-time T&W poet-in-residence, teaches young students about imaginative description in this lesson on poetry. Students engage in group writing, independent writing, and physical movement, all of which encourage them to be imaginative and detailed in their writing.  Grade(s) taught: 1st Genre(s) taught: Poetry Download: Earth Day Delicious Details   Common Core…

Rain Can Be Anything: Kindergarten Poetry Lesson

In Linda Morel’s lesson, students are encouraged to stretch their imaginations by realizing that poetry about rain doesn’t have to be confined to drops that fall from the sky. The goal is to encourage students to broaden their perspective. Early childhood students are often very literal. In this lesson, students are encouraged to see outside…

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