Keys to Inspiration: A Teacher's Guide to a Student-Centered Writing Program

Keys to Inspiration: A Teacher's Guide to a Student-Centered Writing Program

by Steve Ford


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Student-centered instruction is the buzzword among today's educators, yet the teaching of writing is still very top-down. Student-centered should mean student-inspired, and that's where Keys to Inspiration comes in. The path to a writer's truth always starts with an emotion, and almost all forms of writing contain at least a trace of emotional DNA. This book shows teachers how to align emotion with subject matter, and it offers them lessons and projects (from challenging writing exercises to larger projects, such as memoir, research reports, and editorials) that resonate with young authors. While Keys to Inspiration focuses sharply on content, it contains an instructive mechanics section and an Appendix of unique word lists (emotion-related words, themed spelling lists, and alternatives to "went" and "said," to name a few), as well as a few grammar worksheets.
Once motivated, young authors must learn to describe with detail, meddle with metaphor, and mind their mechanics. Veteran writing instructor Steve Ford offers many lessons and exercises that will polish students' narrative skills, and he alerts teachers to the common spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes that young writers need to learn to avoid.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475838732
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/28/2018
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Steve Ford had a great run as a sixth-grade writing specialist with the Saint Paul Public Schools. Starting out, he had no curriculum—only a passion for writing and teaching—but after months of researching pedagogical scholarship and experimenting with his students, he came up with his own unique brand of writing instruction, which has formed the basis of Keys to Inspiration. To learn more about Steve Ford, please check out

Table of Contents

Section I - Let's Write!
1.Moment One, Day One‒Taking the Plunge
2.Revising Moment One: Questions in the Margins
3.Student Biographies
4.Respect, the Booklet
5.Writers' Workshop
7.Commonalities: General to Specific
8.Dramatic Details
9.Odd Objects
10.Music Picture/Writing
11.A Non-essay on Elements
12.Slow Motion
13.Fast Forward
14.Create a Life
15.Let's Write a Walter Mitty!
16.In Other Words: Paraphrasing
17.Write More! Things to Consider
Section II - Major Projects
18.Commonalities in Essays, Editorials, Research Writing, and Debate: An Introduction to Four Projects
19.Persuasive Essay
20.Editorials and Editorial Cartoons
21.Writing a Research Report
23. Oral Presentation
24.Technical Writing
Section III - Mechanics - Introduction to Mechanics
25.Introduction to Mechanics
27.Punctuation, Clauses, and Sentence Types
Appendix A: Spelling Lists
Appendix B: Spelling-related Lists
Appendix C: Other Lists

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