Posts for August 2015

Thoughtful Learning Blog

The Thoughtful Learning blog features articles about English language arts, 21st century skills, and social-emotional learning. Insights come from the teachers, writers, and developers at Thoughtful Learning, who have been creating top-notch instructional materials for more than 40 years.

In a teachable moment in To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch provides his daughter Scout with these words of wisdom: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.” This passage is quoted often in the context of teaching empathy, as is the adage “standing in someone else’s shoes.”

Writing is a game of show and tell. “Telling” is the most common move. It conveys information to a reader. Your students probably feel most comfortable telling with their writing. “Showing” is a trickier move, but when done skillfully, its effect is magical. Your students can bring descriptions to life by showing through sensory details.

Understanding how and when to show and tell will help your students use both strategies more effectively in their writing.

5 Fun Creative Writing Activities

We’ve gathered five fun creative writing activities you can assign to spark a love for writing. Our hope is that these activities will create a workshop-like environment that fosters feedback and collaboration in your writing classroom.

You’ll notice that none of the activities focuses on the technical aspects of writing. Instead, the activities encourage creativity, reflection, and self-expression—hallmarks of meaningful writing.