This title would make an excellent addition to the bookshelves of any English teacher.How can you make your classrooms safe for students who wish to share writing about personal topics? What are your responsibilities to students and their parents, to social service agencies and legal authorities, and to yourself? How do you know when writing about violence or suicide indicates a potential danger? And how do you respond when you suspect that it does?
Few books offer guidance on how you can help students write about sensitive topics or provide pragmatic suggestions for developing the skill and sensitivity necessary to venture into such difficult terrain. In the aftermath of Columbine and similar incidents, this important book does just that, addressing students' need to articulate their thoughts and feelings about violence, anger, drug use, peer pressure, and other complex issues. Just as important, it describes how to create a climate for developing conflict-resolution skills and for proposing nonviolent alternatives to solve problems.
Drawing on her extensive experience with at-risk youth, Helen Frost discusses up front safety issues and legal and ethical concerns in creating a safe haven for writing. She then offers guidelines for introducing and responding to student writing and for helping students revise and publish their work. Specific writing activities appear in worksheet form, organized by genre, enabling you to implement a program of your own. Student writing examples indicate the payoff: the power, precision, and grace that can result when students transform even the touchiest subjects into works of art.