Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When I Write Curriculum . . .

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know."
- Ernest Hemingway

. . . every student will write a blog on a schoolwide, maybe systemwide network.

Nothing wrong with literary analysis, but not always relevant in day to day communication needs.

What is needed are . . .

. . . strong, active verbs that show, not tell

. . . disdain for simple "to be" verbs, and passive voice

. . . imaginative word pictures, i.e. similes, metaphors, personifications

. . . sense words: smell those french fries, taste that cotton candy, feel that sandpaper, hear that train whistle, see those stars and stripes . . .

Another long term project--developable over the course of a student's school career: create your own Squidoo lens!

Write about something you can write about, about something you care about. Write it better and better. Add in graphics, widgets, an estore, you name it. It can be done. I've only got one so far, MeMBA but am planning on building a few real soon, before year's end.

Squidoo is the brainchild of Seth Godin--Hey, wait! You've heard of him!--I've got one minimal lens there, and have several ideas for more.

By writing for publication, students will learn to take more responsibility for their content. No one writing for publication wants to look bad. Connecting the goal of better writing to completing the writing process sets the expectation that writing needs to be readable.

People are actually going to read you.

But too many students have become disconnected from process's end.

This isn't news. Nancie Atwell has been working this idea very successfully since the mid to late 1980s, as detailed in her books, In the Middle, and Lessons That Change Writers.

And she's coming to Baltimore this spring.

See you there?

No comments:

Post a Comment