Visual Literacy

This video presentation shows how writing and drawing are related — for children and for adults.

Education for life.

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(posted on Vimeo by Cyra Levenson)


Info on Visual Literacy from ISTE and Edutopia


“Linking maker-based projects to classroom curriculum and academic standards will help ensure that students will learn, but also that the maker movement won’t become just another educational trend.” (Chris O’Brien, a former teacher who helps schools create maker and project-based learning spaces in New York City.)



Finding the Right Book for a Close Reading

A CLOSE READING is an assignment which is more than a simple book report.

A Close Reading cannot be done on a book with an extremely simple, straight-forward story.

A Close Reading can be done on a book filled with subtext and metaphors.

A Close Reading may cover only a section of a book, not the entire book.

A Close Reading reflects the reader’s experience and knowledge.


The Harvard Writing Center says:

“The process of writing an essay usually begins with the close reading of a text. Of course, the writer’s personal experience may occasionally come into the essay, and all essays depend on the writer’s own observations and knowledge.”

They suggest the reader “annotate the text.” This is where a nice inexpensive paperback version of a book comes in handy. Your marked up copy becomes an interesting addition to your bookshelf.

Read more from Harvard here:

This resource  by Beth Burke suggests three readings of the piece being analyzed:

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For a good resource on Close Reading go to:


BUT, but, but . . . how do I find a good book?

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To help you find the find book, check out


Today’s Assignment: Find the right book for a close reading.

Storytelling, Technology, and Teaching

Just as a great meal relies upon great ingredients,

a successful classroom relies upon a great teacher.

While technology may be altering how students are being taught,

the successful classroom still relies upon the teacher’s skill.

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answers this important question:

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Read more of this article:


Today’s Assignment: Watch this short video entitled “The Medium is the Message” which reflects Marshall McLuhan’s observations:

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You can read more about teacher Albert Robertson at:


For a look at technology and how it has influenced storytelling at the cinema, watch this official trailer of the movie:

“Tomorrowland” (Britt Robertson and George Clooney)


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Feeling S.A.D. or just cooped up? Put those emotions to work!

On these cloudy winter days when you are feeling a little sluggish–put the dreariness to work.



Is that a rule of writing? . . .  I think it is!


If you would like to cheer up, WATCH THIS:

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See what I mean? I doubt you can feel blue after watching that.


Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have a great book for us:

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Remember, emotions vary from sad to gloriously happy and giddy!


Also, if you love book lists like I do, you might want to check out Becca’s 2014 book list:


Now go write something filled with emotion!

Writing Historic Nonfiction: Imagine a Time-Capsule . . .

Imagine a time-capsule which contains genuine artifacts from the past.


It is unearthed, examined, and . . .


reburied (with new items added)–


to be unearthed again in 200 years.


This is a true story!

“Last month, workers repairing a leak at the Massachusetts State House in Boston uncovered a time capsule originally placed in the building’s cornerstone in 1795. It took conservators from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts nearly seven hours to remove the box from its encasing; it was later transported to the museum to be X-rayed and thoroughly examined. Yesterday, in a press conference at the museum, officials from the museum and the Massachusetts Archives opened the time capsule and revealed its contents—some 220 years after it was originally planted” (Pruitt).


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The news can be an excellent source of inspiration for creative writing.

Now, go write!