'A teacher plays a pivotal role in any effective school writing program and at every year level. This book is a passionate portrayal of the journey teachers go on when they decide to write for and with their young writers. Alan J Wright takes you through the approach of modelling and demonstrating writing for students as they struggle and learn from the challenges, and joys, of becoming confident writers and communicators. When your students see that writing is something you do too, a sense of community is created in the classroom and you become more credible as a teacher of writing. The results are happier, more resourceful students who aren’t turned off by the idea of writing, and benefits that can be seen in all subjects involving literacy.'
'Go to the attic of your mind and rummage around and find something.'Mary Higgins Clark
What excellent advice for those who procrastinate over writing. Remember it is easy to find reasons not to write. What you are seeking is just one good reason to write. For teachers, the answer is -your students!
Rummaging is such a wonderful word. I experience such delight when indulging in a bit of rummaging. It imbues the spirit of discovery, and the potential to uncover unexpected treasure and delight. It may also reveal some thing long since forgotten, something considered lost. The very notion of digging and delving into some mysterious part of your life and its associated belongings create an air of excitement. The act of turning over items or fossicking and rifling through books, journals or collected papers is alive with the prospect of discovery or rediscovery.
I admit to deliberately hiding items inside books (notes, business cards, tickets) in order to enjoy the discover…
Wisdom About Writing Many of us carry scars inflicted by the Grammar Police. Teachers and other adults who could spot an errors from across the room.Much of my childhood was punctuated (sorry, I couldn’t resist that) by zealous red pen people. They frequently reminded me my efforts to write conventionally clearly
fell short. I was in need of correction and their written comments were used to
reinforce my grammatical shortcomings, my failure to conform to the adult model
of acceptable English. I don’t ever recall receiving written comments regarding
the intent of my writing. The focus appeared to be purely on the surface features
of the writing. It was a deficit model of teaching writing. In reality
I was practicing conventions every time I wrote. Every time I wrote, I was
moving a smidge closer to becoming a writer who understood how conventions
assisted me to convey a clearer message to my readers. Think about
it. As we write each letter to form words, as we allow spaces bet…
BOOK RELEASEYEAH! I am so pleased to announce the release of my new poetry book, I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon -More Poetry From the Search Zone. This anthology of poems follows on from my first collection of poems, the successful, Searching For Hen's Teeth.
You can order my book on line or simply walk into your local bookstore and ask the kind person serving you to order it in for you. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. May the words reach your poet's heart. Here is a taste, a morsel to whet your appetite for more poetry. Hope you like it. Hope you want more...
YESTERDAY Yesterday, I knew who my enemies were. I knew where they lived. I knew not to go there. Yesterday, I knew where to play on the school ground And that football was my favourite game in the whole wide world. Yesterday, I knew how disgusting it was to eat sheep brains And broccoli. And oysters. Yesterday, I could fly a kite, Keep a secret, And swing from the clothesline. The world felt settled. Then Laura Fisher spoke to …
POETRY, Not For The Faint-Hearted As a poet and an educator I am driven by a desire to have poetry viewed as consumer friendly by young learners. I want them to enjoy the sheer magic of words, the way I do. I want to share my love of language in the hope that they will come to know poetry as one does a friend.What's concerning is that in too many classrooms the teaching of poetry has been reduced to a clinical examination. The poem as autopsy. The dis-aggregation of wondrous words by teachers who feel little empathy with the poet’s desire just to be shared. Moira Robinson, a former neighbour, in her book Making My Toenails Twinkle, reminds us that sometimes we miss the point of poetry when she states, ‘If we are going to start defining poetry by the number of times spring daffodils are mentioned, or by measuring its degree of seriousness on some poetic Richter scale, we will finish up with nervous breakdowns.’If we truly want our students to appreciate poetry to the point that they …
When I visit schools as part of a Meet The Author Day, young writers always arrive brimming with questions regarding the writing life and the work surrounding the publishing of books. The usual questions arise during the day: Where do you get your ideas?What inspired you to write poetry?Do you have a favourite poem?Do you prefer rhyming verse or free verse?How long have you been writing poetry?How did you get your poetry book published?How long does it take to write a book? These questions are quite normal. But one question (usually posed by Grade 6 boys) always sets me to thinking more deeply about my response. They raise a hand and ask, ‘Do you like sport? This question has been raised with me on numerous occasions and it is always posed by boys. I suspect that in the minds of many boys, poetry and sports are viewed as mutually exclusive pursuits. Poetry is seemingly passive and sport, an active pursuit preferred by the majority of male role models in the lives of the…