Writing to Survive

As the school year approaches, I’m sure you’ve considered how you will incorporate writing into your classroom. We know there are many curricular objectives about the teaching of writing.

But this year in particular, keep in mind how writing can support our students’ mental health.

Anne Frank once said, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” More recently, Suleika Jaouad who battled leukemia with a 35% chance of survival has said, “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that writing saved me.” Why not discuss these quotes with your students? Help them understand a side of writing they may not have considered: an emotional release, reflecting on life experiences, thinking on the page…

How will you facilitate this writing in your classroom? Journal writing, freewriting… a little of both. However you do it, be intentional. Dive into the conversation with students. Allow this function of writing to be visible in your classroom.

Those of you who know my story, know that when I was a young student, writing saved me, too. Don’t underestimate its power…

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