Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing for History

On November 25th and January 5th elementary teachers from our district partners came together for a Writing for History workshop. This workshop linked content presented by notable scholars and writing prompts and activities for the elementary U.S. history classroom.

John Bezis-Selfa from Wheaton College kicked off our session in November with an interactive lecture on Connections between Colonial Massachusetts and Latin America/the Caribbean. Teachers engaged with a number of primary sources including selections from The Winthrop Papers and Samuel Sewall's The Selling of Joseph. In January, Eve LaPlante, the award-winning author of Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall discussed Samuel Sewall's life and actions in the context of Puritan New England.

Presenters from the Buzzard's Bay Writing Project, a National Writing Project Center site at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth also worked with our teachers. Teachers received copies of Content Area Writing: Every Teacher's Guide and the session led teachers to examine and complete a number of writing strategies for use in the classroom including "See, Think, Wonder," multigenre writing, writing and the visual arts, carousel brainstorming, and RAFT (role, audience, format, topic) strategies.

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