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.