Introducing LET’S WRITE THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON

Hi everyone,

One of the highlights of my experiences at IRA was the chance to introduce my new DVD series called LET’S WRITE THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON. My co-author of the teacher’s guide and student journal, Laurie Edmondson, was also there to join the celebration. Now that the program is officially introduced, here is a fuller description than I’ve posted before. Let me know what you think!

LET’S WRITE
THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON

When I visit classrooms I like to give students tips on how they can enjoy their own writing more and improve the results of their efforts. Over the years I’ve developed a number of these tips, all of which are based on methods that real writers really use. I’ve used the same techniques myself so I know they work. Some are tricks of the trade, some are common sense advice, but student writers benefit from all of them.

When I became Drury University’s Poet Laureate, I began to consider worthwhile projects I could do that would fit my responsibilities. I decided to create video vignettes of me doing what I’ve been doing for more than 40 years when I visit classrooms. I began by making a list of five broad categories – how to get started, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and how to rewrite. Under each of those headings I taped four presentations. For example, under Getting Started I talk about 1) finding ideas through association, 2) beginning with a single word, 3) the power of observation, and 4) reading to discover things to write about.

I kept each episode brief (five minutes) so that busy teachers can display me on a Whiteboard while I present to their students the tip for the week and then follow up with reinforcing activities. The episodes are not sequential so a teacher can choose any topic that fits the current unit being taught.

I’m finishing an accompanying Teacher’s Guide with Dr. Laurie Edmondson, Interim Director for Drury’s School of Education and Child Development. Each of the 20 Writing Tips featured in the DVDs is expanded for the teacher in the guide book. Laurie is providing classroom activities that teachers can use to complete the lesson. We also present what research says about each category, a home connection to help gain family support, and how each lesson ties into the Common Core State Standards.

In addition to the 20 video sessions and the Teacher’s Guide, the kit includes a set of 20 Student Writing Journals and three of my trade books – one each of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction – that we use as examples to help students see exactly what I’m talking about on the videos. What began in my mind two years ago as a set of taped writing tips for students has evolved into this hands-on, interactive, creative writing program that can bring me into classrooms anywhere. The full kit, which is designed for use in grades 3-5 (but could be used in later grades if desired) will be available by late summer or early fall and will be priced at $499. The publisher is Phoenix Learning Resources. Sales will be handled through Stourbridge Distributors. You can contact them at www.stourbridgedist.com  .

Further, Laurie is going to teach an online course for graduate credit based on LET’S WRITE THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON. Those who are interested in signing up for the course or learning more about it can contact Laurie directly at ledmondson@drury.edu

Getting ready for IRA

Hi everyone,

I’m home between trips. Last week was Texas Library Association in Houston. I was there, with artist Dan Burr, to introduce our new book, COWBOYS. We signed a lot of books, met old friends, and made new ones. I especially enjoyed spending time with Dan as we discussed what we might want to do together for a third book.

This Sunday I leave for Chicago for IRA and I’m looking forward to that one too. I’ll be in a symposium with Tim Rasinski, Alicia McCartney, and Brod Bagert called “Using Poetry for Word Study, Fluency, and Instruction” on Monday morning and will participate in Poetry Olio that evening. I’ll be signing at the booths of Boyds Mills Press, Zaner-Bloser, Scholastic, and Stourbridge.

This is the conference where my new DVD series, LET’S WRITE THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON is being introduced. The disks include 20 writing tips from me to elementary students that can be shown on a smart board and include the subjects of: finding ideas, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and revising. Also provided are a teacher guide book (which I’m now co-writing with Laurie Edmondson, associate professor of education at Drury University in the School of Education and Child Development), 20 sets of a student writing journal, and three of my trade book titles (FARMER’S DOG GOES TO THE FOREST, DYLAN THE EAGLE-HEARTED CHICKEN, and EARTHQUAKES), which I use as examples of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the guide book. Laurie will also be at the conference so we’ll introduce the new product package together. Everything will be in place this fall. Teachers who would like to earn graduate credit on line can register through Dr. Edmondson at ledmondson@drury.edu . Anyone who would like to learn more about this project can notify Stourbridge at 1-570-253-3225 or www.stourbridgedist.com .

David