One Writer’s Journey

January 7, 2014

Common Core: Use them to your benefit

Common Core StandardNo matter how you feel about the Common Core Standards, writers who ignore them do so at their own peril.  Why?  Teachers are using the Common Core in the classroom.  If you make it easier for them to use your work in conjunction with the common core, you are going to see more use of your work in the classroom.

The Common Core is all about helping students understand and use what they are reading.  This includes:

Identifying main ideas and key details.  You can help readers do this with your work by creating discussion questions and activities that go with your work.  Other possibilities include vocabulary lists, discussions of word choice and voice or sentence structure.

Make a connection between the images in the text and the text itself.  If you are an illustrator, make this connection through reader-friendly videos that can be shown in the classroom.  If, as the writer, you had to find photos or take photos for your work, you can do the same thing.

Teachers are also having to teach more about writing.  Create handouts or videos that teachers can use in the classroom to teach various aspects of our craft.  This can range from fine tuning word choice to identifying character, plot and setting even in nonfiction.

Connect fiction and nonfiction.  One of the key points for students is understanding how both fiction and nonfiction can present similar material.  Make a list of fiction and nonfiction resources on your topic.  Be sure to include your own books!

Be creative.  Encourage students to make maps, write poems and journal entries based on your work or even a timeline.  Anything and everything goes as long as you can link it to the standards. One of the best examples that I found was a teacher’s guide put out by HarperCollins in conjunction with the Chronicles of Narnia. Yes, you are competing with HarperCollins but you can also study their material and learn from it.

How can you use the Common Core Standards to promote your work?




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