How can an active writing community be fostered in the classroom?
Anyone who’s been to the library or a bookstore with me knows I love Young Adult Literature. It’s the section I automatically gravitate towards. It’s not that I don’t appreciate and love children’s book and the books found in the “grown up” section because I do. But there’s something magical about YAL that keeps bringing me back. Here are a few, more concrete, contributing factors:
- I work in a middle school/high school environment. I want to know what my kids are reading, and I want to be able to make book recommendations.
- It’s GOOD WRITING. And when one chooses to read, shouldn’t they choose something that’s well-written?
- These aren’t fluff books. They have real characters that deal with real problems. And dealing with the real is awesome and so important.
These are just some of the reasons I love YAL. I think it’s so important for young adults to have books that contain characters and situations they can connect with. I will always be a proponent of this branch of literature.
How can I teach students that their voice matters?
I think the power words have is often underestimated. I think because they’re so easy to say and so small and casual when printed that people forget how much weight and power words have. But the truth is, in my opinion, words are the most powerful thing out there. Words are everything. Let’s think about the enormity of this for a minute:
- Words are how we communicate. We might not all speak the same language, but we all communicate using the same foundation – words. Without words there would be a lot less communication, sharing of ideas, and collaborating.
- Words are how we share stories. They’re how we share fiction and non-fiction. Think about how sad a place the world would be without stories.
- Words are how we connect with other people. Words can lift someone up or break someone down. We have an enormous amount of power with our words, and we choose on a regular basis if we’ll use that power for good or evil.
Words have power, but that power is often underestimated or undervalued. I think it’s time we do something to change that. We need to teach our students about the power of words.
“You cannot write what you cannot imagine. Nurture your image of what’s possible.” Lucille Clifton
How can I make writing relevant to my students?