Writerly Play Kit FOR EDUCATORS
Using the Inklings Book in your Classroom
Using the Inklings Book in your Classroom
Hopefully, you know all about the opportunity for your students to receive encouraging, written feedback in response to their Inklings Book Contest applications. Did you also know that the Inklings Book program supports your writing classroom with revision strategies you can use year-round?
Each youth writer published in the Inklings Book also provides an interview on their revision process. Their mentors write letters about the focus of their revision, as well, and explain at least one strategy that they used. Along with the book, we publish a Teacher’s Guide with templates and activities that focus on specific elements of writing craft such as developing the details of character, raising the stakes, or showing rather than telling.
In this Writerly Play Kit, we’ve included last year’s Inklings Book Teacher’s Guide. Stay tuned for next year’s guide and book, both of which will be out soon!
The Inklings Book Teacher’s Guide is filled with practical, playful revision activities and templates to try in your classroom. Activities focus on skills such as:
- Word Choice
- Finding the Heart of the Story
… and more
In each Inklings Book revision mentorship, we focus on a specific element of writing craft. Instead of looking for ways to “fix the story,” Inkings and their mentors deeply explore one area of the story or poem and revise through that lens. The result is that writers feel a sense of mastery. They can say, “I understand character development, and I made these specific changes to make my character stronger.” By connecting revision decisions to their intended effect, writers internalize the knowledge that writing can always be shaped and crafted. There is no perfect poem or story, and writers always have room to grow with each new piece of writing.
This tenth-anniversary edition of the annual Inklings Book is available to educators at a discounted rate for a limited time. Use the coupon code IBEDUCATOR25 to recieve 25% your purchase of the 2018 Inklings book.
― Shinjini Samanta, 4th grade Inkling, published in Inklings Book 2018
Close Reading & Peer Revision
Choose a short story in the Inklings Book as a model for peer revision. Review the mentor letter and youth author interview to better understand the revision focus chosen for the piece. Then, read the piece itself and discuss how the writer achieved this goal and any opportunities they may have had to further explore the strategy.
Instead of learning the ins and outs of peer revision with their own work already on the line, the Inklings Book material offers your students a resistance-free opportunity to examine written material by writers of their own age. Your students will find strengths and weaknesses in each piece. The interview and mentor letter provide information on what the writer was attempting to do. In the same way that their peer revision discussions may focus on helping a peer achieve a specific goal, your students can examine how the Inklings author achieved their goal, and consider ways they might take that work to the next level.
What’s Up At SYI this Month?
This month, Scott Bly has challenged us to use the element of surprise.
I like to keep my readers, my characters, and even myself guessing and surprised by what happens in a story. This is a fun exercise that I like to use that can work as a writing prompt, or as a quick break for writer’s block! Try these steps: 1 – Place a character or characters in a location where they’re comfortable. Tell us a little about them, such as what they like to do for fun. 2 – Give this character a goal that’s perhaps totally unrelated to what you’ve created so far. Tell us about that goal. Now the fun part! 3 – Have something unexpected and completely different from steps one or two happen – suddenly, if at all possible. Surprise your character, and don’t second guess yourself! Now… what if that unexpected development is the first step on an unlikely path toward that goal?
Aim for between 350 and 1000 words. Submit your response by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You might be published on our website!
This month, we talk to author Scott Bly about his novel, Smasher. He talks to us about using writing as a tool to help children become interested in computers and technology.
People ask me sometimes, “What should I do if I want to be a writer?” The answer is slap-your-forehead-obvious. Write!