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While English teachers are notorious for teaching the plot curve and its inciting incident, rising action and climax, etc., and while this is a great way to analyze literature, one of my most interesting sets of lessons involves leaving the plot curve behind and replacing it with the three-act structure most screenwriters and novelists use today.  Continue reading...

As chronicled in this space over the last year, one of my 11th grade classes has been the chief guinea pig -- um, I mean, main lucky participants! -- in a curriculum one of my colleagues and I have been developing. We're taking her core Earth Science content and combining it with my Beginning Playwriting practice.  Continue reading...

The other night I was sitting next to an Austrian teacher of English at a restaurant in Brighton, in southern England. He was a bit puzzled by an item on the menu which offered "Pan roasted local skate wing, crushed ratte potatoes, sautéed spinach, caper, lemon & parsley butter."  Continue reading...

Once upon a time, in a suburban St. Louis County high school almost thirty years ago, there studied a girl who couldn’t seem to write an essay to save her life. She watched the papers come back. AP European History—D-. AP English—C. But owing to smaller class sizes and tenacious teachers who bled all over her paper with red ink, this girl began to see her mistakes. She tightened. She tweaked. She revised. She edited.  Continue reading...

Last summer, a teacher friend of mine was trying to decide whether to use a new book in her classroom in the coming school year. We spent a long time weighing the merits: in favor of doing so was the stay against boredom that introducing a new text provides. Against? "I would like to not go entirely insane with work this year," she mentioned. Ah yes. The impossible dream.  Continue reading...

I was recently asked by a young and annoyingly successful poet how I thought language learners dealt with the special demands that poetry puts on the reader, and the discussion that followed led us into a marvelous land.  Continue reading...

Recently I made a big gaffe in one of my columns. Despite the fact I read my columns over dozens of times, and then I have a peer edit, and then there's a Visual Thesaurus editor who reads and edits, I still misspelled the name of one of my favorite authors. (I also was chided for making up words, but as an author that's my creative prerogative and we can debate my taking that license another time.)  Continue reading...

9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 189 Articles