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Writing the Journey

Discussion by: Matt on Sun, 2013-04-28 12:49 with 2 comments

There can be a profound experience as we come to better understand our parents.  Poems like “Those Winter Sundays” or “Papa’s Waltz” help us see how perspectives can change with experience—how understanding can become clearer.  In “Drunken Rooster Days” (TBTW 2012; p.1-2), Yan Zhang is seeking to understand “the golden days…the days [she] could not understand” that her father often spoke about.  The stories he told seemed other-wordly and didn’t match the experiences Yan, herself, knew as a teen growing up in Omaha, Nebraska.

How to Write a 'Lost Friend' Story

Discussion by: Kelli on Sun, 2013-04-28 12:48 with 1 comments

Growing up is hard, but losing a friend may be one of the
most disillusioning experiences of growing up. To know someone, to trust
someone, and then to watch someone succumb to outside forces and become
unrecognizable can alter a person’s sense of reality… and make for a great
story. So if you’re ready to write your own “lost friend” story, here are some
tips to get you started using Marcela Grillo’s “My Cuba” (TBTW, 2012, p.208-10)
as a mentor text.

Convince Me: Developing a Clear Organization and Structure for Persuasive and Problem-Solution Essays

Discussion by: Laurie on Sun, 2013-04-28 12:41 with 6 comments

My students often struggle with how to begin an essay and
create a strong essay structure.  In
Julia Marino’s “Let’s Cancel CSI,” (TBTW,
2012, p. 188-192) this young writer is able to capture her audience
right away in the first line, “I love Twitter.” 
Young readers can all relate, even if Twitter isn’t their preferred
social media choice.  Her introductory
paragraph is a compelling and humorous take on why so many people suffer from
Celebrity Stupidity Influence, or CSI, as she calls it, playing on the popular

Personification in Drama

Discussion by: Shaun on Sun, 2013-04-28 12:10 with 0 comments
Artwork by Raphael Figueroa

As I was reading "Four Angry Horsemen" by Alexander Valdez (pg. 160, TBTW 2012), I was struck by his use of personification to breathe life into intangible and inanimate ideas. It got me to thinking that while personification may be an easy thing to identify in a text, it is much harder the other way around - that is, to create the personification. And so, a lesson was born.

Developing Character by Integrating Interesting Facts

Discussion by: tbaker on Fri, 2013-04-19 10:01 with 0 comments

I remember reading something by Ralph Fletcher (maybe it was "Keeping a Writer's Notebook") in which he talked about how he always kept a writer's notebook with him, so that he could write down interesting facts that he heard to use later in a piece of writing. I'm a person drawn to interesting facts.

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