Category Archives: Language Arts

Book Hooks: Writing for Life

Young student at a computer taking an online English course.

Writing complete and clear sentences often seems to be a lost art.  In the world of text messages and social media tweets, we often see fragments and phrases, instead of gracious, deliberate communication. However, a writer, who communicates clearly and thoughtfully, attracts readers who gain insight and perspective. My ultimate goal of teaching writing is for students to grow in their ability to become adults who ponder their words, instead of casually tossing half-truths and unsupported opinions across the airwaves.  Therefore, I encourage even my young students to thoughtfully plan and carefully select the words the words they will use. The Book Hooks writing curriculum, which I have developed for elementary and middle school students, is based on four personal beliefs: writing is a skill which can be taught; great writers provide ideal role models; students enjoy writing about interesting topics; and tools for writing make the process easier. I believe that great books open the door to a child’s imagination and open a treasure trove of knowledge.  In my Book Hooks writing classes, I use books as hooks to introduce a topic, skill, and/or purpose of writing.  The books used in class model for the student great writing examples, […]

Why All Students Should Take a Writing Course

male student in library studying for online course

At one time the ability to use calligraphy to beautify manuscripts or a hostess’s penmanship when sending out invitations were symbols of education and prestige. While those specific ideals are less important today, how we write is still as important as what we write. If I have speling misstakes, you would find this distracting. If I jump from one topic to the next, and suddenly began speaking about sports, you would find this confusing. If I make outrageous claims like “students who take a writing course do 500% better in every aspect of life” without referencing where my information comes from, you would be rightfully skeptical. What students have to say is important, and they should be given the skills necessary so that people are not distracted, confused, or skeptical due to how the paper is written and instead focus on what is said. This is why every high school student should take a writing course.   There are many different types of writing, both in creative styles or more academic ones. A biology lab report will have different requirements from a history paper detailing the fall of Rome, and a novel written in the first person narrative will be structured […]