6-Word Biographies

One way to make sure you know your characters is to create a 6-word biography for them. Examples from my middle grades novels (from the oldest character to the youngest): (Great) Uncle Toban: Hope renewed. Beloved uncle. Valued partner. Grama Kawa: Matriarch, raising littles, joy after despair. World Lost. Family Found. Grateful heart. Survivor. Making

Vivid Imagery

This is a framework for teaching students to write poetry. It’s fun. It has worked multiple times. It’s here if you want to use it. When I want students to write, I tell them to write poetry. If you haven’t tried that, do it. Most children will happily write poetry for hours. Even older students,

Poetry Please

When you want American students to write, start with poetry. (The international students I have taught seemed more comfortable with creative nonfiction or stories.) If you think they will say they hate poetry, have them tell you their favorite songs. Look some of those up online. Those are poems. Tell them so. That gets their