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Writing about Teaching Writing


8 Mentor Texts that Shine a Light on Tone & Setting


Writing Sense of Sight? Let There Be Light!

A scene’s light (or its absence) shapes both tone and setting, builds tension, and adds dimension to character.

What does a scene’s light expose? What does it hide? What glimmers? What fades?

For a quick background on chiaroscuro - the role of light and darkness - as a literary device, check out this post  by screenwriter and novelist Tom Avitabile. Without darkness, he reminds us, there cannot be light.

But how do we distill something this shadowy with nuance into a middle grade writing lesson? How does it map onto the skills we already teach? The answer, I finally discovered, is not to look at “writing light” as yet another concept to cover, but as a different lens to filter lessons on rendering sensory details - something I’d already been firing shots in the dark at.

Mentor texts for writing light

Unlock Authentic Learning in Your Writing Workshop with this Revision Checklist Edit


3 keys to strong writing

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