Writing for Your Life

Dana Pillsbury, English, North Mecklenburg High School




Imagine a classroom where students can “come of age” by exploring their own passage into maturity via great authors, true stories, ancient myths and most importantly, through personal narrative. My unit, Writing for Your Life , is an attempt to showcase a comprehensive multi-genre Language Arts curriculum for high school students that they will feel is germane and important to their lives. Linking students to the texts we read and discuss by means of their own creation of text is what makes this unit work. The lessons intertwine multi-genre studies in reading and writing with a focus on ‘mirroring‘ the students in my classroom. In other words, we will read nonfiction and fiction literature from, about, by and pertinent to teenagers’ lives. Our writing will originate from our own personal accounts and storytelling in order to document and explore ‘who we are’ and ‘where we stand’ — moment to moment — over the course of freshman year. My intention is to set forth a way of being in the classroom, a way of teaching and learning where reading, writing, talking and thinking are integrated.