art · writing workshop

Getting Craft-y: Using Art to Teach Writing

"If kids see writing as just another avenue of self expression, if they realize that craft and skill are necessary for all areas of self-expression, then perhaps they might use these understandings as a foundation for their writing."

art · mentor texts · mentoring

Gathering Inspiration from Mentors

Here's an idea for using art to inspire students who are reluctant to use mentor texts. After all, creating something beautiful -- inspired by someone else's work -- is something artists, and writers, often do.

art · picture book · visual thinking strategies · whole book approach

Picture books are art forms.

I spent a weekend in the woods learning about picture book art and design at a workshop led by educators from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Highlights Foundation.

art · poetry

I hope you’ll join CHALK-A-BRATION

On the last day of each month, Betsy hosts CHALK-A-BRATION. This is a celebration of chalk art and poetry. If you want to play (and I hope you do), the deal is simple: Write a poem with chalk on a sidewalk or street or driveway. Take a photo and post it online. Share it with… Continue reading I hope you’ll join CHALK-A-BRATION

art · biography · illustrations · mentor texts · writers

Step into a biography with an author-illustrator team + a giveaway

Every now and then a book comes along I want to tell everyone about. When I say everyone, I mean blog readers, my family, friends, teachers with whom I consult, and other parents. Today I'm sharing one of those books with you because this is as close as I can get to shouting out how… Continue reading Step into a biography with an author-illustrator team + a giveaway

art · quote

Link with Love + Words that are Speaking to Me

I recently came across this new initiative called Link with Love. Basically it is a group dedicated to giving credit where credit is due. Check it out and then read their blog, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter. Help spread the word so the goodness of people's creative work can be acknowledged and shared… Continue reading Link with Love + Words that are Speaking to Me

art · authors · conferring · fiction · writer's notebook · writing workshop

Bits of This & That

Remember this letter that Allie sent to Eve Bunting last fall along with The Ghostly Scary Mystery she wrote dedicated to Eve Bunting? Allie got a response! Yes, there was a form letter, but she also received a personal note from Eve. Wanna see the response? Click here. While getting to know characters, one fourth grader… Continue reading Bits of This & That

art · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · Read Aloud

Journey Around a Topic

Earlier this month, The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice, which is written by Wendy Pfeffer and illustrated by Linda Bleck, was released by Dutton Children's Books.  The Longest Day is non-fiction, but it reads like fiction since Pfeffer paints vivid in the reader's mind with the language she purposefully selects.  The vivid language she… Continue reading Journey Around a Topic

art · publishing · writers · writing

Believing In Them…

I've been going back-and-forth over e-mail with one of my former fourth graders for the past week.  She started sixth grade last week -- middle school.  I can hardly believe she has a locker & a free period!  After all, it feels like just yesterday that she was sitting in the front row of the… Continue reading Believing In Them…


Slice of Life Buttons

Here are some buttons you can use if you want to proudly display your participation in the Slice of Life Challenge.  🙂  Also, feel free to use these with your students too. My friend, Monica, made this button into a hyperlink to use on your blog.  Here is the code that will get ya a… Continue reading Slice of Life Buttons