Writing Activities at Scholastic - Short Story - Poetry - Essay
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Bonnie Startt (Faculty)
Michelle Kassorla (Faculty)
At first the site looks very muddy and jumbled, as there are so many activities jammed onto the page. However, the collection is organized well, and easy to navigate. Teachers will find a wealth of classroom-ready and creative teaching materials built around common writing tasks and literary response. There is also a nod to Common Core requirements with a robust section on writing about non-fiction materials.
The activities themselves are well thought-out, with a a draft->work->polish->publish theme. The most important thing I found was the emphasis upon publication and sharing--enforcing the idea of audience and getting beyond writer-centered composition. For example, in the poetry section, there is a safe way to share and publish kid-made poetry. In the "Amelia Earhart" section, students produce a "published" news story based on their research of the topic. Emphasis is in practical writing skills, but the audience is beyond the teacher and the classroom.
I was impressed with the ease of use and the creative way in which the writing activities are put together.
The reviewer highly recommends the "Flashlight Readers" section which provides writing and critical thinking activities built around nine popularly taught fictional works.