Setting up the Activity in your Classroom:

All the articles in the Writing with Writers project are formatted to be read online or printed. Depending on the availability of classroom computers and time, you may wish to print these articles for individual reading at home or in class.

The Writing with Writers project is meant as a skill building exercise that should be done individually. However, students can work collaboratively in leveled reading groups, joint brainstorming sessions, and peer reviews of their written works before submitting it for teacher assessment and online publication.

If a computer is available for each student, students can work on their own. Hand out the URLs or write them on the board so students will have a guide through the activity.

If you are working in a lab, set up the computers to be on the desired Web site as students walk into class. If there are fewer computers than students, group the students by reading level. Assign each student a role: a "driver" who navigates the web, a timer who keeps the group on task, and a note taker. If there are more than three students per computer, you can add roles like a team leader, a team reporter, etc. Students can work through the steps together this way and then write their poem, book review, news article, etc. off line and enter this written piece into the publishing element individually.

If you are working in a learning station in your classroom, break out your class into different groups. Have rotating groups working on the computer(s), reading printed background information, reading examples of the genre, writing their pieces, reading each other's work, and editing their work.

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Additional Resources:

Biographical Profiles of Important 19th Century African Americans
The 19th-century African Americans profiled here include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Nat Turner, as well as some lesser-known figures such as Mary Ann Shadd.

Black History Month
Suggested activities and lessons are linked to appropriate sites on the Internet for a complete online curriculum for Black History Month. Topics covered in this site include contemporary poetry, African-American leaders, and Buffalo soldiers, among many others. Also at this site: a video download of a one-woman play, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl."

African-American Almanac: Folktales
Read dozens of African and African American folktales.

American Folklore: State Folktales
Read a folktale from your state or read historical and ethnic folklore

Native American Folklore
Read dozens of stories from Native American cultures.

Mystery Net: Kid's Mysteries
Students read through mysteries and try to solve them before getting all the clues.

Myths from Around the World
Discover myths from around the world including India, Southeast Asia, South America and more. This is part of the Myths, Folktales and Fairy Tales online activity.

Myth Brainstorming Machine
Use this flash component to start your myth writing visually. You can pick a character, a background, and effect, and print it out to get your myth started right away.

Gods, Heroes and Myth
Read different myths from around the world from Greek and Roman to Native American myths. Includes some crossword puzzles and other games.

Scholastic News Online
Use the extensive content in Scholastic News online as a resource for writing your own news article. New daily stories are posted through the week and the special reports allow for in-depth coverage of events happening around the world.

Science News For Kids
Articles from the physics of candy packing to the behavior of rats, this site has extensive news articles written for students.

New York Times Learning Network
For the older grades, read about the current news covering all topics. Activities include writing letters to the editor and a monthly interactive crossword puzzle.

Poetry Archive
The goal of this ever—expanding poetry archive is to make poetry available at no cost and to give teachers and students of poetry new ways to study poets and their work.

Jean Marzollo Web Page
This site features many of Marzollo's books including her award—winning series I Spy . There is information on how to purchase her books, a bio of her life, and fun activities to do with students.

Online Speech Bank
Research, listen, and read political speeches from today and yesterday.

Gifts of Speech: Women's Speeches From Around the World
Read the speeches of famous women arranged by year.

Book Review:
Share What You Are Reading
Read peer book reviews on any genre and write your own book review to be published online.

New York Times: Book Review
Read the book reviews on the latest books. Good for older students to get an example of what they should be writing.

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Graphic Organizer:

5Ws Graphic Organizer: Grades 4–12
This 5Ws (PDF) Graphic Organizer helps students find the Who, What, Where, When, and How of each topic. Students will these organizers to fill gather information for their biographies, news articles, book reviews, and speeches.

Story Elements: Setting Stage: Grades 4–8
This Setting Stage (PDF) graphic organizer is a visual prompt for students to illustrate story events. Students use this graphic organizer to write their pieces in the following genres: descriptive writing, myths, and poetry. Source: Graphic Organizers to Use with Any Book by Michelle O'Brien-Palmer

Story Elements: Follow the Clues: Grades 4–8
This Follow the Clues (PDF) graphic organizer helps students set the stage for their mystery. They enter their clues that will help them lead to a solution to their written mystery. Source: The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers by Jennifer Jacobson and Dottie Raymer; Illustrated by Amy Redmond.

Story Elements: Plot Diagram
The Plot Diagram (PDF) graphic organizer is a way for students to illustrate the plot of a story. Students can use this organizer to put together their thoughts on writing their own Folktale. Source: Graphic Organizers by Karen Bromley, Linda Irwin-De Vitis, and Marcia Modlo.

Observation Chart: Grades 9–12
This Observation Chart (PDF) graphic organizer makes students think about the words they are using in their writing. For use with descriptive writing, myth writing, and poetry, students think about the sights, sounds, feel, tastes, and smells that they want to write about.

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