Bats in the Belfry

Bats in the Belfry by Jayden (7th grade) I have always wondered what it feels like when you die. What channels it? I have been thinking about this ever since my mother died on April 3, 2013. Yet, I have faced worse challenges than this. Welcome, take a seat while I talk to you about…

Connecting the Written and Visual

by Jason DeHart As both a middle grades and college English instructor, I have found that using well-chosen visuals when introducing writing modes can create powerful, and even entertaining, opportunities for students to begin drafting. Images can be used in a variety of ways; for the purpose of this lesson plan, I will discuss guiding…

The Crumpled Paper Exercise: Collaborative Storytelling

by Alice Pencavel T&W teaching artist Alice Pencavel’s crumpled paper exercise engages students with the process of collaborative storytelling. The lesson enables students to harness a greater aptitude for spontaneity and deepens their understanding of story structuring. Grades: 6th and up Materials/Set Up: One writing utensil and sheet of paper per student. Desks should be…

Sports Poems

by Erika Luckert We rarely think of sports as a subject for poetry, and yet, when I speak to devoted sports fans or athletes about their passions, they invariably wax poetic. I recently taught a residency at a middle school where one of the most impressive poems was written by an avid sports fan, Julio….

Teaching Across the Curriculum: Reflections on Combining Creative Writing with Science

During the 2011–2012 school year, Teachers & Writers Collaborative partnered with Children First Network 534—a Bronx-based grouping of 33 public schools—to provide twelve writing programs in eight middle schools in Queens and the Bronx. With generous support from the New York Community Trust’s “Beyond Teaching to the Test” initiative, T&W writers taught fiction, poetry, and…

Other Portraits

Self Portrait as Book by Mikaela (8th grade) I am an open book. I am a figure of my author’s imagination or a special memory. I am full of pages and pages of written adventure. Thrilling, fun, freedom are printed on each page. I am unique. My story is unlike any others. I know the…

Poetic Sampling

by Erika Luckert Last year, I facilitated a roundtable discussion on plagiarism and intertextuality in poetry, where a group of teachers and writers talked about the way we use other texts to inspire and fuel our writing. As we talked, we realized that what might be called plagiarism in a formal essay is sometimes a…

Teachers & Writers Magazine

Teachers & Writers Collaborative: www.twc.org