National Writing Project

Excerpts from Teaching the New Writing

Date: November 13, 2009

Summary: Read excerpts from this innovative guide, in which teachers share their stories, successful practices, and vivid examples of their students' creative and expository writing from online and multimedia projects such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, electronic poetry, and more.

 

Editors Anne Herrington, Kevin Hodgson, and Charles Moran of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project have gathered a set of contributing authors from public, independent, rural, urban, and suburban schools and from writing project sites across the country.

Whether writing instructors embrace digital literacy now or see the inevitable future ahead, this groundbreaking book, appropriate for elementary- through college-level teachers, will both instruct and inspire.

Below are excerpts from four chapters of the book.

Chapter 3, Collaborative Digital Writing, by Glen L. Bledsoe

My fourth grade class and I are writing a story. It could be just a text story written with a word processor. It could also be repurposed as an audio podcast. . . . The choice of medium doesn't matter very much to me, given my goals for students' learning. What does matter is the process we're using to write the story. The process is one I've been developing with students over the last 10 or so years. I call it Collaborative Digital Writing.

Download excerpt from "Chapter 3, Collaborative Digital Writing, by Glen L. Bledsoe"

Chapter 5, Be a Blogger: Social Networking in the Classroom, by Paul Allison

I'm happy in this busy, sometimes noisy room where students are focused on reading and writing blogs on Youth Voices. With each new class, it takes some time to reach this point. It has something to do with project-based curriculum. Perhaps any teacher who has learned to sponsor projects in the classroom will recognize the turning point that I'm referring to here, where the teacher starts working for the students, instead of the reverse.

Download excerpt from "Chapter 5, Be a Blogger: Social Networking in the Classroom, by Paul Allison"

Chapter 8, From the Front of the Classroom to the Ears of the World, by Dawn Reed and Troy Hicks

A "This I Believe" speech was different from the traditional informative speech found in speech class, because we would record the speeches and podcast them, thus requiring an extensive amount of writing. Unlike the outline plans we studied at the beginning of the course, students were expected to fully draft and revise their "This I Believe" speeches. While I participated in the composing process with my students and received feedback from my students and my peers I discovered that just as the "This I Believe" curriculum suggests, this is a hard paper to write.

Download excerpt from "Chapter 8, From the Front of the Classroom to the Ears of the World, by Dawn Reed and Troy Hicks"

Chapter 9, Scientific Writing and Technological Change, by Mya Poe and Julianne Radkowski Opperman

With the transcription of scientific discoveries into research articles and other texts that are shared by the research community, scientific advances build upon or diverge from the work of previous scientists when such texts (and thus discoveries) are taken up and cited (repeated as the standard "lore" of the discipline) (Latour & Woolgar, 1979; Sandoval, 2005). Technological innovations, consequently, have not just shaped how scientific discoveries are made (such as genome sequencing) but also how scientific discoveries are communicated (e-mail and personal multimedia devices).

Download excerpt from "Chapter 9, Scientific Writing and Technological Change, by Mya Poe and Julianne Radkowski Opperman"

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