Showing A Character’s Trait

We tell students to "show, not tell" in their writing, but this advice isn't effective until they experience the difference. In this video, we'll put a famous character (of students' choosing) into a mundane situation and develop a fun scene to show off their main traits.

Better Stories Part 4: Character Archetypes

Part 4 of Writing Better Stories

Are students' characters a bit flat? Archetypes give them a strong foundation on which to build their own characters as well as a tool to analyze existing stories.

Identifying Author’s Voice

What if... Edgar Allen Poe wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?

Better Stories Part 1: The Big Idea

Part 1 of Writing Better Stories

We open our unit on narrative writing with a big idea: "structure increases creativity." I show how this is true by bringing in examples from across all disciplines.

Better Stories Part 3: Literary Themes

Part 3 of Writing Better Stories

A typical student narrative includes plot and characters but lacks a larger idea to hold it all together. This is where a lesson on themes comes in…

Better Stories Part 5: Plot Structure

Part 5 of Writing Better Stories

Ever read a student's story that was just event after event after event and then a very sudden ending? They lack an understanding of a plot's structure. With the help of Finding Nemo, I break down how to set up a well-structured plot.

A Halloween Costume Gone Wrong

Let's go roller skating in a Halloween costume! What could possibly go wrong?

Better Stories Part 2: Types of Conflict

Part 2 of Writing Better Stories

If your students' stories are packed with endless ninja fights or arguments between frenemies, it's time to expose them to a wider range of conflicts.

Change A Story’s Genre

What if we rewrote a story's climax into a totally different genre?