Gretchen Bernabei - Reviving The Essay Yale 250 Essay
Organized around the writing process—selecting topics, crafting drafts, and polishing finished pieces—explicit lessons engage student writers while shoring up the gaps between learning and testing.Growing out of their own work in Title I schools, Gretchen, Jayne, and Cynthia’s strategies have proven to be especially effective in helping ESL and special education students, not only pass the test, but achieve commended performance.Text Structures from Nursery Rhymes offers the solution: a clear and actionable framework for guiding young students to write successfully in any style, from narrative to descriptive to persuasive.Gretchen Bernabei and Jennifer Koppe provide 50 short texts by famous Americans who put pen to paper driven by what Peter Elbow described as “an itch” to say something. along with 47 more pieces and their explicit purposes.The book includes Sojourner Truth’s Speech (itch: join a heated debate), FDR’s Pearl Harbor message (itch: pick up the pieces), JFK’s inaugural address (itch: give a pep talk) . By examining the structure of these mentor texts, students suddenly see that the itch is something they have in their own lives, too! Meanwhile our students entering middle and high school are still making the same errors they made back in third grade.
We forget all the bureaucratic, jargon-filled position papers that mask real voices with dead words pinned in paragraphs on the page.
Read these essays as models for your students and try the 30 lessons Gretchen and Judy have included to show your students that the best writing is not formulaic and the best writers have something to say. Inject new life into essay writing and learn to teach structure without formula.
Gretchen Bernabei will wake up your students’ writing with dozens of practical voice-building lessons that foster structured prose without force-feeding formulas.
Gretchen Bernabei has taught middle school and high school for 34 years. A sought-after speaker, Gretchen has authored Why We Must Run with Scissors: Voice Lessons in Persuasive Writing (2001, Discover Writing Press); Reviving the Essay: How to Teach Structure Without Formula (2005, Discover Writing Press); Lightning in a Bottle (2003, Trail of Breadcrumbs); Sparklers: High Scoring Test Essays and What We Learn from Them (2007, Trail of Breadcrumbs); The Good Writer’s Guide (2006, Hampton-Brown/National Geographic School Publications); Crunchtime: Lessons to Help Students Blow The Roof Off Writing Tests and Become Better Writers in the Process (2009, Heinemann); The Story of My Thinking: Expository Writing Activities for 13 Teaching Situations (Heinemann, 2012); Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning (Corwin, 2013); Grammar Keepers (Corwin, 2014), Text Structures from the Masters (Corwin, 2016), Text Structures from Nursery Rhymes (Corwin, 2018), and Text Structures from Fairy Tales (Corwin, 2019).
at Southwest Texas State University, she has devoted her professional life to learning, developing, and sharing best practices, particularly through the National Writing Projects.