Also known as NaNoWriMo, it’s a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1st, participants in this annual internet-based creative writing project begin working towards a goal of writing a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. Equal parts personal challenge and community-building experience, the innovative NaNoWriMo project encourages aspiring novelists everywhere to tell their story… with one heck of a deadline!
If you’re interested in joining the month-long writing challenge, visit the NaNoWriMo website for how-to materials, information on their Young Writers Program, and more. And for ways to get any young author’s creativity flowing, check out the great writing activities, interviews with renowned authors, and classroom-ready resources from PBS LearningMedia below.
Grades 4-9 Jerry Spinelli reflects on the wide variety of books he’s written, including his most recent books ‘Stargirl,’ ‘Milkweed,’ and ‘Eggs.’ The author also reflects on the significant accomplishment of just completing a book, even if it never gets published.
Grades 6-12 With the help of bestselling author Jason Reynolds, we learn about the importance of a “chosen family” in Ghost. We also hear directly from a group of students in Brooklyn, NY who speak about how the book affected them, and what deeper messages are hidden inside.
Grades 9-12 Margaret Atwood explains the inspiration and motivation behind her book, The Handmaid’s Tale. She reveals how everything in the book is based on something real that has happened in history. The book explores how societal evil can lead people to do unthinkable things.
Grades 6-12 Author of three novels, Marlon James believes that different books demand a different process. Learn about his shifting writing processes, experimenting with varied writing environments, and reflect on individual processes to re-image and rewrite a scene from a story or novel.
Grades 6-12 A story map is a graphic organizer used to help students learn the elements of a book or story. Students can create their own digital story map with this interactive from the PBS Digital series It’s Lit!To create their story map, students will identify the characters, setting, and point of view of a book of their choice. Students will also identify the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of the story’s plot. Finally, students will use the interactive to analyze the big picture of the story, including the conflict, theme, and tone. The interactive includes a full glossary and a blank printable version of the story map.
Sensorial Writing | Creative Lesson Plans for Personal Storytelling
Grades 6-12 In this lesson, students will explore vivid sensorial writing while considering how to write about smell, taste, or sound in a setting. This lesson is an opportunity to talk about the importance of the concept of “show, don’t tell” in writing.
All Ages The Adirondack Center for Writing brings people and words together. The ACW cultivates the art of writing and the joy of reading; celebrate the power of language to invite discovery, to create an understanding of people and sense of place, and to build a community. Check out what’s new and newsworthy at ACW and be sure to visit their Saranac Lake location for drop-in reading, writing, and community time.
Grades K-5 This virtual professional learning experience will introduce a number of teaching models and strategies to enhance your practice. How can you inspire your students to be passionate writers and engaged readers? We’ll explore how mentor texts from The Great American Read, combined with the NaNoWriMo challenge, can empower students of all ages to read and write with enthusiasm and depth.
Who Owns the Novel | In Search of the Novel: Workshop 1
Grades 6-12 Explore a workshop that probes the living nature of the novel by illustrating how each reader makes a novel his or her own in this one-hour video from In Search of the Novel. This professional development series shows that the interpretation of a novel changes, depending upon the reader’s culture, class, generation, sex, and personality. Educators and authors reflect on the question of ownership of a novel and how to engage students with multicultural literature.
Join us as we journey into the lives and work of amazing writers right in our community with Author Visits! Explore the full collection with more local author interviews online, anytime with Mountain Lake PBS.
Sara J. Henry Overcomes Obstacles to Publish Her First Novel
Sara J. Henry overcame some personal obstacles to write her first novel, “Learning to Swim.” It has since been published, won several awards, and spawned a sequel, “A Cold and Lonely Place.”
Author Kate Messner’s Time-traveling Dog Makes Waves
Kate Messner, author of many acclaimed books for kids, discusses her “Ranger in Time” series of historical fiction for kids with Spotlight producer Paul Larson. Messner’s fictional golden retriever has helped children facing disasters like the Titanic sinking and the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. The author also talks about her book for young adults, “Breakout,” inspired by the 2015 prison break at Dannemora.
What Makes a Being “Human?”
Author Bethany Morrow discusses issues of humanity with producer Paul Larson, as they talk about her book “MEM,” a work of speculative fiction. The book is set in the art deco world of Montreal in the 1920’s — but a different version of the period, where memories sometimes get housed in specially created living beings when those who lived through the memories wish to forget them. “MEM” is the first published book for the author.
Amy Guglielmo Tells Us About Her Series “Touch the Art”
Author Amy Guglielmo discusses the “Touch the Art” book series. Guglielmo and Julie Appel created these textured books to expose children to masterpieces in a visual and tactile way. Kids learn to touch the paintings in a book instead of on a museum wall.
Great local stories, previews of everything new, and invitations and updates on Mountain Lake PBS activities!
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