Awhile back I mentioned Henry “Hank” Kellner’s fictional work. Kellner is a retired, conservative, English professor. Shortly after the post, Kellner contacted me and offered two professional resources for review. I had a little time to play around with these at the end of the last school year , and I am very impressed with the quality of the resources.
The first one you see pictured to the right is called Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing. I like how the book is designed. Each page includes a poem, a photo related to the poem, a quote at the bottom related to the poem, and keywords that are in the poem. This gives a student a lot to pull from if they often struggle with getting started in their writing. In addition, the poems in the book are short, so that they don’t consume a lot of class time when working with them. Reflect and Write can be used to feed both quick-writes and longer writing projects.
I love this resource! I had the ability to try out one of the activities out of the book toward the end of the year. I was very impressed with my student’s engagement and quality of writing. Even some of my students that often didn’t care much about writing, or any work for that matter, showed great interest in the writing activity.
Reflect and Write also includes a CD with all of the pages, so you can easily display them on a projector that is connected to a computer. The book is recommended for grades 7-12, and I would agree that this is accurate.
The second book pictured is called Write What You See: 99 Photos to Inspire Writing. Every page includes one black and white photograph, a quote, and ideas for writing or possible opening lines. Some pages include possible key words that tie into the photos as well.
I did not get to work with this resource at the end of the year. A colleague of mine, someone who has taught for 20+ years, borrowed the book. He left an activity for a planned absence using the multiple pictures from the book. Those that teach know what can happen when you leave writing for a substitute. The report from the sub (she was a retired librarian) when he returned was that she had never seen students so engaged in a writing activity. This teacher reported to me that the writing that was left behind was surprisingly good, and that he was going to buy the book to use in his classroom next year.
Write What You See also includes a CD with copies of the pages in the book. If you are looking for a resource that will get your reluctant writers to engage, this may be a book worth purchasing.
If you teach English at the secondary level, I highly recommend these two writing resources. I have linked the titles of each book to their Amazon page. Go pick up a copy of these and give them a try in your classroom this coming school year.