Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teaching Writers Through Reading

Currently working on a genre study for slice-of-life.  What a unique genre -- just making a point about life, a point we can all relate to.  The kind of reading that makes you say "Yeah!  You've got a good point there!" and then tell your own experience like the one you read about.  Katie Wood Ray in Study Driven notes that "readers enjoy reading 'slice-of-life' pieces because they identify with the uniquely human need to share life and the spirit of life with others."  It's this point that makes me think as I am finishing up this genre study with students:  how important it is for these young writers to get a sense of the feeling readers get from slice-of-life before they can begin writing.  Genre Study is about using mentor texts to guide the writing, but not to the point where it becomes another formula to put the puzzle pieces together for.  Writing needs to make a reader feel something, and if a student is a struggling and/or reluctant reader, then how can he/she know how to make someone else feel that way through writing?

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