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Overview: Authentic Purposes for Writing Blog Series

Feb17 Blog Series Image

Every three months, the TWT co-author team comes together to share our thinking about one aspect of writing. It seems appropriate that we’re sharing our thoughts about authentic purposes for writing this week. Writing is a source of power. Our students will benefit from having strong voices, clear messages, and wide audiences in our quickly changing world.

Here’s a preview of what to expect from this week’s blog series:

Later today, I will talk about the ways we can use writing to stay in touch with people (beyond text messages). Tomorrow, Melanie will write about discovering and/or uncovering our feelings through writing. On Wednesday, Betsy will talk about the way writing can affect change. On Thursday, Beth will discuss the ways writing partners are a built-in audience that can give kids purpose. On Friday, Kathleen will help us think through ways to carve out time for authentic writing in an already jam-packed schedule. On Saturday, Lisa will discuss how writing can be shared widely. Finally, on Sunday, Deb will discuss writing and jotting around the classroom.

We’ll wrap-up this series next Monday night, February 6th, with a Twitter Chat that will start at 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time. We hope you will join us.


  • heard_cover_smallThis giveaway is for one copy of Heart Maps: Helping Students Create and Craft Authentic Writing by Georgia Heard. Many thanks to Heinemann for donating a copy of this book.
  • For a chance to win one copy of Heart Maps: Helping Students Create and Craft Authentic Writing, please leave a reaction to any post in the blog series, including this one, by Sunday, February 5th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Lisa Keeler will use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose names she will announce in our blog series’ IN CASE YOU MISSED IT POST on Monday, February 6th.
  • You may leave one comment on every post in our Authentic Purposes for Writing blog series, which runs January 30th – February 5th.    
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so Stacey can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, our contact at Heinemann 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  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
    • Heinemann will only ship the book to a winner in the United States. If you live outside of the U.S. and wish to be considered for this giveaway, you must have a U.S. mailing address
  • If you are the winner of the book, Stacey will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – HEART MAPS. Please respond to her e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

20 thoughts on “Overview: Authentic Purposes for Writing Blog Series Leave a comment

  1. Most of my most authentic writing has resulted from becoming a member of TWT because, finally, I had an audience of my peers, one that I knew would read, consider and respond from the heart to my posts. In fact, I am sure that I am no longer capable of anything BUT authentic writing as those of you who read my posts already know. I look forward to hearing the ways to implement this study of “authentic” writing in classrooms. I am sure the Slicers have lots of good ideas! Please put me on that list for Georgia’s book…I’m a fan!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My school is contemplating having an oratory contest with students writing and original piece, and I think that the statement that you make about students having strong voices, clear messages, and wide audience is a compelling argument for this new activity at my school.


    • Teachers at my buildings understand the power of audience for authentic writing, yet this is one piece that tends to get lost in the shuffle of a scripted writing program. I am eager to read more about addressing the idea of audience in the coming days..


  3. For the first time EVER, I have a group of students who are using their Writers’ Notebooks at home in creative and consistent ways. Their entries are full of seeds for academic writing as well as strong small moments from their lives. I eagerly await this week’s posts as I seek
    ways to foster students writing from their hearts.


  4. I am excited to uncover and learn more about authentic writing experiences. I have enjoyed reading several blogs about Heart Maps, by have yet to purchase the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m looking forward to some of this week’s topics. We are finding that students love to write but if we can maintain authentic audiences – as you say, in a busy curricula – we can help them develop that writing to be better, stronger, more powerful. I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I borrowed this fantastic book and used it with a group of 6th graders (chg in the world). Wow, I didn’t know the power a heart map would have in unleashing a collection of thoughts from a tough group of students! I have also used these maps with 3Rd and 1St graders, and highly recommend this book to teachers of any grade level!

    Liked by 1 person

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