Teaching writing is complex, and a number of ideas circulating among schools and teachers often belie the difficulty of how to teach the techniques and processes of writing. I’ve come to believe that authorship is not a passive undertaking and does not originate in the struggle to put something onto the page. Rather it emerges by living with a sense of awareness. It is, in a sense, life work, a consciousness of the significance of our experiences and the impression that they make upon us. These impressions then seek expression and, in turn, we are moved to write. I believe that being moved to write should be the driving force behind our work with young writers in schools. From experience I have seen that inquiry-driven, arts-rich invitations to write, with an emphasis on how the writing will function with respect to an intended audience and purpose, foster a sense of connection, and a respect for diverse opinions and points of view. These undertakings are part of the meaning-making process and pivotally cultivate an ability to think critically and creatively—the essence of learning to be literate. When we see that children are innately curious, we see that our role, as educators, is to foster this sense of wonder. When we begin with inquiry and a shared quest for significance, the journey from the head to the page becomes a process of growing meaning. In this article, I will be sharing a number of stories of practice, where students in a range of contexts were enabled via a range of activities to make such a journey.
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