Sunday, December 21, 2008

Publish or Perish

Several readers have asked whether Graham and Katharine have written their posts on their own. The answer is yes, with an asterisk. Here's what happens. The kids first choose a topic; if they're being difficult, we assign one. They write a first draft by hand that we review together. We discuss the essay's strengths and weaknesses, and where it could be improved. Sometimes, we have them go online to do additional research. The kids then write a second draft, which we type into the computer.

Finally, we sit side by side and review the whole essay again. We point out spelling and grammatical mistakes and fix them together. We also discuss problems with the narrative (e.g., the need to set the scene better, etc.) and prompt them to fill in the gaps. We don't write anything ourselves, but we do guide them ("Where were we when this happened?" or "What did it look like?").

The result is definitely much better than they would produce solely on their own. We're hoping to achieve two things: Give all of you something worth reading, while also teaching the kids to write better.

1 comment:

Corie said...

Very impressive.