Brandi J. Clark

Writer and Educator

Peter Elbows in With His Thoughts on Writing

Last November 2013, I sat down everyday, for 30 days, to answer this question:

How can I help teachers love nonfiction writing as much as I do? And closely related…

Where does everything go so terribly wrong with nonfiction writing in schools?

First, I believe children start out as writers, before formal education begins.

I am inspired by a quote from Peter Elbow.

peter elbow

Peter Elbow states (along with many others),

“Very young children can write before they can read, can write more than they can read, and can write more easily than they can read–because they can write anything they can say” (Calkins, 1983; Graves, 1983; Harste, Woodward, & Burke, 1984; Sowers, 1982).

This means that writing is something innate, already present within in us. Therefore it is fair to say that writing is not just a subject in school or something foreign to what we already know.

So when we approach the teaching of writing in school, we are not dealing with a tabula rasa.

Students are bringing with them a variety of experiences with making marks on paper.

We start like these images…
Little Kid writing in chair

Toddler writing

And then…in the middle of the primary school years…this happens…


So what happened?

I will tell you later…
Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

About Brandi Clark