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.

Welcome to Personification!

By Joanna Fuhrman In this lesson, T&W teaching artist Joanna Fuhrman teaches students about creating poetry that imagines emotions as characters with human traits.  Genre(s) taught: Poetry  Grade(s) taught: 3rd  Download: Welcome to Personification!  Common Core State Standards (Refer to the ELA Standards > Reading: Literature > Grade 3): CCSS ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4: Determine the meaning of words…

Rants: Not Just for Complaining!

by Erika Luckert  In Erika Luckert’s lesson plan, students explore “ranting” as a practice for relieving emotional angst and building an argument. Grade: 7th Genre(s): Poetry and prose Download: Rants: Not Just for Complaining!   Common Core State Standards (Refer to the ELA Standards > Writing > Grade 7):  ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.A: Engage and orient the reader by establishing a…

Figurative Writing: A Lesson on Alliteration

By Laura Campbell-Lui Laura Campbell-Lui teaches for the New York City Department of Education, teaching students who have been identified to receive remedial support. In this lesson plan, she introduces fifth-graders to alliteration. This lesson plan is designed for struggling students, but it can be adapted and made more complex. For example, it might be…

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…

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