character development · content-area writing · fiction · giveaway · mentor texts · narrative · personal narrative · poetry

Tapping Into the Power of Some New Mentor Texts

Mentor texts are important co-teachers in the writing workshop! Here's an in-depth look at the mentor texts I talked about in a recent podcast. After you finish reading, be sure to leave a comment after on this post for a chance to win all ten of the featured books!

Author Spotlight Series · fiction · Lester L. Laminack · nonfiction · picture book

Building a House of Fiction on a Foundation of Nonfiction

Meet Lester Laminack at the corner of story and information. You’ll chat a while. He’ll introduce you to a couple of characters and walk with you through the South Carolina Lowcountry. And hopefully you’ll leave filled with new information.

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

fiction · jacqueline woodson · minilesson · plan · process

Plotting Short Fiction

Last month at MRA, I listened to Jacqueline Woodson speak about her writing process. It wasn't the first time I heard her speak and I hope it won't be my last. She is one of the writers I consider as my personal mentor. Not to be over-dramatic, but listening to her last month changed my… Continue reading Plotting Short Fiction

fiction · research

Fiction + Research

Some of you know I've been dabbling with writing fiction for the past six months. I've also had the pleasure of leading a fiction writing unit of study in two different classrooms this school year. One of the things I'm noticing about myself as a fiction writer is a natural affinity for research. It's not… Continue reading Fiction + Research

fiction · narrative · quote · small moment · stories

Stories Matter

“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” —Barry Lopez Stories matter.  A lot. Here are some reasons why . . . Stories help us reflect on life and understand where we've been… Continue reading Stories Matter