(Definition: The uncontrollable urge to publish everything)

Now let’s get serious, you won’t find ‘publishamania’ in a dictionary, I invented the word.

Yes, get crazy, invent a word, give it a meaning (Brigid Lowry). An enormous hit with students!

When I was studying writing at university I was privileged to have Pauline Buchanan, more than once, as my tutor. She is a firm believer in the power of students publishing their work. I followed her lead in the classroom, every piece of writing was published. Juicy Writing, as a once a week ritual produced a large volume of published work.

Our Early finishing activity was to complete publication of all writing. A hand in box stored half finished work, this prevented precious work from being lost in the dingy dark depths of someone’s desk. Books were assembled at the end of every week, spare pages available for those who lagged behind.

Students who had completed publication were encouraged to design cover pages, either a self drawn title/illustration or if a computer was available, in a digital format. Thus taking the pressure off you, the teacher. Colour card was used for the cover, the title/illustrations glued to the front. Some cover pages were laminated, some were not. The students work secured inside using a coil binding or simply stapled together. I was lucky enough to have a very munchy stapler.

As the year progressed the books of published work  created a tantalising classroom display. They were a popular choice during SSR. Constantly in demand, admired by students, teachers and parents. Writing lined the walls and hung from wires that criss-crossed the room.

published books

 More Juicy Stuff 

“I Wish”

This ‘Starter’ has been used successfully, many times, with a wide range of students. If you are new to this site and unfamiliar with my  learning outcome, success criteria and lesson outline please read my first post, “A Light Bulb Moment”. Follow the lesson outline, working to publication.

‘I Wish’ is particularly appropriate, we have all, at some stage, shared an “I Wish’. Share yours with the class.

My exemplars are often quite lengthy, they weren’t an example of what I expected from my students. However, I would frequently see words or phrases from my writing appear in students drafts.

Word lists (lists of adjectives) became an essential part of our writing lessons. When I was teaching full time I subscribed to Enchanted Learning, at US$20 a year, it was worthwhile. Among the vast array of resources on the site are word lists. The Positive and Negative Word Lists are very useful during Juicy Stuff. My students used them frequently.

Choose 6 descriptive words as your focus for the lesson. Discuss meanings; solicit student input, record class ‘I Wish, on the whiteboard, smart board etc. During individual work it was common to find my less confident writers lying on the floor at the front of the room, copying down some of the ideas. I never discouraged this practice. As students language tool box develops their confidence in their ability to write independently improves.

  • Teacher Exemplar

I wish exemplar#2

  • Template to publish

I wish template

motivation insertjpg#1


Prior to introducing Juicy Stuff, I was never happy with the support I was giving every student. It was difficult to have a productive learning conversation, written feedback was often not read. Juicy stuff is short, sharp and more often than not, sweet. With time I discovered I could see every child in a lesson. They happily lined up, chatted with each other about their writing while they waited. Most importantly they shared it with me,  valuable learning conversations became part of our routine.


About SharynFlack

Wife, Mother, Teacher (Relief), Frustrated Writer, Part Time Artist, Problem Solver
This entry was posted in Creative writing, Writing ideas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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