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Always Write
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Start to Learn
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(Kindergarten)



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Learning is Messy
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Write in the Middle
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A WritingFix/NNWP Teacher Presenter: Lisa Larson
a Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant shares her on-line materials

My name is Lisa Larson and I am a middle school literacy teacher, focusing on both Language Arts and Social Studies. I became a Teacher Consultant with the NNWP after attending the Summer Institute in 2009. I am also a writer, which is a core value of the writing project. I know firsthand how students struggle to first get their ideas on paper and then how difficult revising is because they then have to admit that their first attempt wasn’t perfect. Writing takes courage!

When students write, they often pen the first thing that pops into their head, slam their pencils down and proclaim, “I’m done!” They believe that…they’re done. How do we bestow the courage required to revisit their writing and change things? How do we shape their fragile writing egos to continue to work with and shape a piece of writing into something that is magnificent, not just “done?”

As a writing teacher, I teach my kids they are never “done,” they are merely at a good stopping point in which they need to re-read and make it better. When that task is completed, they need to do it again and again. I’ve talked to famous authors who have re-read their own published books and want to change adjectives, scenes and entire characters. Writers are never done!

Therefore, I believe we need to give students three core writing values:

  • Write every day. Practice is the only way to become better at something.
  • Write for yourself; not for the teacher or for a grade.
  • It’s okay to cross everything out and start over. That doesn’t signify failure, it signifies courage!

Celebrate and share good writing with your students. Draw attention to what they’re doing well and help them through the difficult parts. Be strong when they are not and--no matter what--write every single day!

Lisa Larson, a Northern Nevada middle school teacher, has been a Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant since 2009. Lisa has presented at the NNWP's iPods Across the Curriculum Class, and she co-facilitates its Teaching Authentic Revision Inservice.

Join the...

...Teaching Authentic Revision
Discussion Group.

Lisa's Lessons & Prompts Housed at WritingFix:

Lesson:
If Today Is Your Last Day

Mentor Text: Nickelback's song, If Today Was Your Last Day

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lisa has presented this lesson as part of the the NNWP's iPods Across the Curriculum Workshop.

Lesson:
Beautiful Noise Poems

Mentor Text: Neil Diamond's song, Beautiful Noise

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lisa has presented this lesson as part of the the NNWP's iPods Across the Curriculum Workshop.

Lesson:
Summarizing History with a Found Poem

Mentor Text: James Keelaghan's song, Cold Missouri Waters

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lisa has presented this lesson as part of the the NNWP's HistoryFix Workshop.

Lesson:
Showing Creative Problem Solving

Mentor Text: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lisa created this lesson when she was a participant in the NNWP's Inspired by Chapter Books Workshop.

Prompt:
Unofficial Rules Lists for Launching Memoirs

Mentor Text: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lisa created this lesson when she was a participant in the NNWP's Narrative and Memoir Inservice.

Lesson:
Now & Then

Mentor Text: Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Conventions

Lisa created this lesson when she was a participant in the NNWP's HistoryFix Workshop.

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Four Other Teachers' WritingFix Lessons that Lisa Uses with her Middle School Students:

Lesson:
Making the Abstract Concrete

Mentor Text: The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler

This lesson was created by fellow NNWP Consultant Jamie Priddy.

Lesson:
Episodic Narrative Writing

Mentor Text: Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

This lesson was created by fellow NNWP Consultant Kim Polson.

Lesson:
The Butcher's Tale

Mentor Text: "Reuben Bright" by poet E. A. Robinson

This lesson was created by fellow NNWP Consultant Corbett Harrison.

Lesson:
So Much Depends Upon...

Mentor Texts: "So Much Depends Upon" by poet William Carlos Williams and Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

This lesson was created by fellow NNWP Consultant Dena Harrison.

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