Session 9 – Writing Characters You Wish Existed: Teaching Fiction Writing to Represent, Reclaim & Liberate
Teaching Fiction Writing to Represent, Reclaim & Liberate
Special guest, Karuna Riazi, author of the middle-grade novel, The Gauntlet, and forthcoming, The Battle, and Maggie Beattie Roberts, TheEdCollab Network Member and co-author of DIY Literacy, lead a session that will support you and your students in the teaching of narrative writing and so much more. One focus of this session will on strengthening students' narrative writing ability (and, in turn, literature interpretation skills) through practical strategies for the teaching of fiction writing. Real-word work gleaned from Karuna's experiences as a novelist, paired with the developmental needs of student writers. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, this sessions will explore Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies for teaching writing. Both Karuna and Maggie question and challenge whose stories and which versions of them are "permitted" to be told, in school and in publishing. Karuna, for example, found herself self-censoring in her writing, writing versions of her identity she internalized would please a majority audience. Once she was able to move beyond this, and reclaim her characters, her middle grade fantasy novel was born. This session will challenge you to question: When do we, as educators, suppress or support students' identities and those of the characters they write—especially actions we take that we are not aware of? What could we do instead to not just believe writing "empowers" but to really enact classrooms that allow writing to reclaim and liberate? This critically important session will help not only your teaching of fiction, but ways you approach your teaching in general.
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