Visual Writer Introductions

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Princeton Architectural Press is hosting a giveaway of this book. Enter to win a copy by leaving a comment on this post.

I paused when I reached the James Gulliver Hancock’s About the Author page of Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of 50 Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff. Instead of the typical paragraph-long blurb about him, his work, and his family, it looked like this:

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge.

And that’s when I exclaimed, “This would be a great way to have kids introduce themselves to each other during the first week of the school year!”  I loved the portraits of each person in Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of 50 Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff since each one gave me a better sense of what each person is/was like since Hancock featured their quirkiness on every page.  I thought this book would be good for teachers to show students in the fall to encourage them to introduce themselves to one another in a more artistic way (and to be accepting of one another’s weird stuff early on!).

Like many teachers, I used to have students complete writing interviews, but that was just for me — their teacher. Then I moved to Celebrity Writer Profiles, which is an idea from Jim Vopat. The Celebrity Writer Profiles were stellar since I posted them in the hallway outside of our classroom. The kids used to look at one another’s profiles before school and during transition times (and when they were dilly-dallying in the hall on their way back from the bathroom).

I think this introducing oneself in an artistic way that acknowledges one’s own weirdness is something that will help to build a supportive writing community (especially in middle and high school when everyone feels different!).  Granted, an assignment like this would’ve scared me as a kid since I was never much of an artist. Therefore, if you’re going to try this out in your classroom this fall, I would provide non-artistic students with some basic drawing books (Think: Ed Emberly) to help them get over that hump!

Here are a few more peeks into Hancock’s book. As you’ll notice from these excerpts, this book is appropriate to use as a mentor with students in grades six of higher.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click on the image to enlarge.

All images in this post come from Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of 50 Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff by James Gulliver Hancock, published by Chronicle Books, 2014.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

  • This giveaway is for a copy of Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of 50 Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff.  Many thanks to Princeton Architectural Press for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy of Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers, please leave a comment about this post by Friday, August 22nd at 11:59 p.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose name I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Sunday, August 24th.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, my contact at Princeton Architectural Press will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)

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Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this post. I used a random number generator and pjjmison’s commenter number came up so she’ll receive a copy of Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers. Here’s what she said:

Great idea for introducing yourself. I’m trying an assignment with sketchnoting this semester with my higher ed students. They are sketching their multiple intelligence and how it influences them as a classroom teacher. Should be interesting!