Harris Burdick Writing – Inspired by Chris Van Allsburg

A great lesson that I have done for years has been the writing lesson based on Chris Van Allsburg book, “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.” As is in past years, the students love this lesson and are inspired to write at great lengths. This year, I noticed my non-writers and ESL writers were more engaged in their writing. They wanted to know more about the Harris Burdick and what happened to him.

Watching all the students get immersed into the assignment, I had a great idea to think about how I can take the content of the lesson and intertwine technology into it. I had read William Kist’s book, “The Socially Networked Classroom,” and saw that Wiliam Chamberlain had created project similar to mine, however it involved technology. I was inspired to see what we could do with the students.

I asked the students how they felt about posting their stories on their blogs. At first there was some hesitation, however after they all started talking they really liked the idea that other people around the world would be reading their stories, and maybe they could inspire others to write their own.  We have just starting posting them, and I have to say it is a great way to assess! Next week, once all the stories are in I hope to tweet their stories on #comments4kids and hopefully we will get some comments from other student writers.

A great sample from one of the authors in my class.



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