National Writing Project

That's Right. Thirty-Six Hours.

By: Diane Shaw, Diana Jiménez

Summary: Two Merced Area Writing Project teacher-consultants outline the content of their Migrant Summer Young Writers Academy, which had as its goal to motivate and provide direction toward academic success for these mostly English language learners.



In 36 hours these students experienced the process of daily journal writing, writing personal narratives, descriptions, analytical responses to poetry and literature. The experience required each student to explore the writing process through continuous oral communication for clarification, vocabulary building and usage and accessing academic language. Students listened, made inquiries through discussion, read and were read to. We integrated their prior knowledge and their life experiences to build new knowledge, which they applied through written practice and exploration. They were introduced to a powerful palette of language that they could manipulate to reach their audience and begin to understand their individual voice and style."

Copyright © 2009 California English. Reprinted with permission.
Jiménez, Diana, and Diane Shaw. 2009. "That's Right. Thirty-Six Hours." California English 15 (2): 25–26.

Read more California English articles on the California Writing Project.

About the Author Diana Jiménez teaches freshman and senior English and AP literature and composition at Delhi High School in Delhi, California.

Diane Shaw, an experienced elementary school teacher, is currently on special assignment for the Merced City School District in Merced, California.

Both teachers are teacher-consultants with the Merced Area Writing Project.

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