How NOT to teach writing in schools

It seems high schools are doing it wrong. Plus, how writing helps people cope, MAD magazine editor talks satire, Google beefs up its scanned books collection, and more.

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There are plenty of good reasons to examine how writing is taught in schools; however, this week, an article looked at how it probably shouldn’t be taught.

Also, a teenager writes about the value of writing outside the classroom, MAD magazine is celebrating a birthday, Google n-gram improves, and a look at the origins of the word “sketchy.”

More on the writing revolution: A few weeks ago, The Atlantic began a series of articles and essays about why American students can’t write. The root article explored a high school in New York that turned itself around by focusing on writing in all classes. That article’s author wrote a follow-up piece urging other schools to follow the example. Too often, she said, schools rely on creative writing classes as the only necessary writing instruction: “The assumption, it seems, is that coherent sentences spill from children as easily as tears or laughter, as long as teachers are nurturing and provide a safe space.” Instead, schools should do what New Dorp High School is doing by teaching kids to articulate thoughts through writing about any subject, according to the author.

A Teenager’s Take on The Importance of Writing:
Reminding us that writing can aid learning in school or in life, the Learning Network blog at The New York Times featured a post from a teenager in a foster home, and how writing has helped him cope with loss. Also a good lesson on dedication—”three pages every night before I go to bed.”

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