New Directions in Teaching Memoir: A Studio Workshop Approach

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Students want to do work that's meaningful to them. As their teacher, you can support secondary writers as they learn about the writing process, but you can also offer them something greater: an opportunity to tell their own story and to mold it into an artful work of memory. When students read and write memoir, they explore their lives with pen and paper, make connections to the lives of others, and often discover something deeply personal and surprisingly universal in their writing and their lives. New Directions in Teaching Memoir demonstrates how to teach this evocative genre and shows you the power it holds for students and for instruction. More than merely personal narrative or family stories, memoir engages students because it emphasizes the importance of students own stories, feelings, and ideas. It also provides numerous opportunities for instruction in revision, editing, and craft. Dan and Dawn Latta Kirby present a unique way to introduce students to memoir and an in-depth instructional approach they have developed over time - the studio workshop. The studio approach takes the key attributes of fine-arts studio classrooms, and applies them to writing instruction to help transform your classroom into a more disciplined, guided, interactive, and authentic environment that supports risk taking for writers and gives you opportunities to coach students one-on-one. New Directions in Teaching Memoir also contains all the important tools you'll need to succeed with memoir, including:

  • what the process of composing a memoir looks like
  • extensive suggestions for responding to and evaluating student work, including reproducible rubrics and handouts
  • ideas for supporting students' efforts by incorporating memoir into your literature curriculum
  • numerous examples of student work
  • the artistic importance of presentational features, including style and format
  • new versions of memoir especially designed for student writers.

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