Inventive Writing: Podcast Episodes 131a and 131b

Mar 21, 2018 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


The blank page. It’s a formidable foe for young and old. Just looking at a blank page can be enough to increase the heart rate and make the palms sweat. Fortunately, IEW tackles the blank page and tames the terror. How, you may ask? IEW equips students to face the blank page with confidence by equipping them with tools and structures to use before they ever even encounter one.

Rather than asking students to begin at the blank page like so many other writing prompt-based curriculum companies do, IEW empowers students by taking a gentler approach, initially supplying students with models. Teaching them from the very beginning in Unit 1, students learn how to create key word outlines by asking themselves questions. In the beginning those questions are simply which words to choose out of the sentence to help them best capture the idea.

As students move through the various units, they begin to add complexity to their questions. After working through Units 1 and 2, students create key word outlines in Unit 3 by asking themselves questions about the story and outlining their answers according to a story sequencing structure. In Units 4 and 6, the students continue to ask themselves questions, but this time they are deciding which facts they find are the most interesting and important for the report they are writing. They must be selective. And in Unit 5 the students learn to ask themselves questions not about a written source, but rather about a supplied picture or series of pictures.

All of these questions presented in the first six units build gradual layers of complexity, slowly equipping the student for the moment when he encounters Unit 7, Inventive Writing. By the time the student reaches this point, he has built up his questioning skills, and rather than applying them to a printed source, he applies them to his brain, seeking his inventory of knowledge to supply his needs for his writing assignment.

Listen to Podcasts 131a and 131b to learn more about how to introduce Unit 7 to your students. In them Andrew describes the process and shows how it is a relaxed and natural approach to facing the blank page, without the stress and strain!

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