Thoughtful Learning Blog

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.

Q. True or false: The primary theme of The Great Gatsby is the disintegration of the American Dream during the very height of material prosperity in the 1920’s.

A. In the very act of asking that question, I have imposed two assumptions upon you.

Every generation has a tendency to deride the next as frivolous and lazy. Over the past decade, for example, the phrase “short attention span” has become almost cliché in reference to young people. Those of us who grew up before the Internet and cell phones remember a time when people actually read books and wrote letters to one another; now, it seems, they read only blog entries and send 140-character text messages or Twitter posts. What, oh what, is this world coming to?

Education Week published an online article called “Writing to Learn” on August 27. Since I write about writing, and believe strongly in writing as a learning tool, I was interested in what the article had to say. My guess was that it would explain that writing to learn is a common strategy used in today’s classrooms—and that it is proving to be an effective learning tool for students.