Tagged Storytelling

Where I’m From: The Musical

Where I’m From: The Musical is an original book and lyrics and written by The Visionaries during a dramatic musical workshop held in the spring of 2018. The workshop took place at VISIONS at Selis Manor, a nonprofit rehabilitation and social service organization for the blind and visually impaired in New York. The participants listened…

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…

Completing the Character Puzzle with Vignettes

by Jennie Weng  Character analysis is an important skill for writers to learn. However, too often students label characters with one-dimensional terms (e.g., good, bad, funny, evil, protagonist, antagonist).  Well-crafted characters are a lot like real people; they are complex. If students can understand this integral component of character analysis, they will not only be…

Interview with Patricia Smith: The Poet as Storyteller

An Interview with Patricia Smith by Christian McEwen In 2015, Bauhan Publishing published Sparks from the Anvil: the Smith College Poetry Interviews, a collection of interviews with superb contemporary poets by writer and teaching artist Christian McEwen. Teachers & Writers Magazine has been publishing highlights from this impressive book. Here, McEwen and Patricia Smith talk…

Liar, Liar

Evelyn Krieger’s essay, “Liar, Liar,” was runner-up for the 2016 Bechtel Prize. Teachers & Writers Collaborative awards the Bechtel Prize to the author of an exemplary essay that explores themes related to creative writing, arts education, and/or the imagination. In “Liar, Liar,” Krieger reflects on the sources of imagination and the joy of giving your…

Finding Light at Rikers Island

The following is an excerpt from Liza Jessie Peterson’s forthcoming book, ALL DAY: A Memoir of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids. Liza began teaching creative writing at Rikers Island, New York City’s male jail complex, as a teaching artist in 1997. In 2008, she returned as a full-time GED teacher for the NYC Department of…

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