Classroom Writing Workshops

Your workshops start with engaging students!

Effectively teaching the writing process in the classroom is difficult.
Remote learning makes it even more difficult to effectively teach the writing process.

Steven Krasner knows this from personal experience.

Steve has been a professional writer for more than 45 years, conducting in-person classroom and virtual writing workshops, authoring children’s books, covering the Boston Red Sox as a sports writer, and teaching college freshman writing classes. He has learned there really isn’t one specific, guaranteed method for writing effectively.

But teaching the writing process starts with engaging students, whether that’s in the classroom, or on Google Meets, or on any other distance learning platform.

And Steve’s highly interactive, hands-on and collaborative “Nudging the Imagination” writing workshops do just that, exciting the students about writing and showing both students and teachers writing can even be fun, not an often-dreaded part of the school day.

“Nudging the Imagination” writing workshops offer something for everyone – Administrators and Curriculum Directors, Classroom Teachers, Students, Parent-Teacher organizations, the Community – all while aligning with standards and curriculum and, best of all, engaging the students in the writing process in fiction and non-fiction genres!

All of these workshops can be conducted virtually via distance learning!
Click here to learn more!

“Nudging the Imagination” has gone Virtual at a Reduced Fee!


Steven Krasner brings his popular grade-appropriate, collaborative, interactive classroom writing workshops to you remotely, offering fun-filled distance learning sessions at a reasonable price! Please click here to visit our Virtual Workshops page for more information.

 

Classroom Writing Workshops

Let’s have some fun with words! Let’s write with Papa Stevie! Scroll down for workshop descriptions and visit the pricing page for drastically reduced fees.

Steven Krasner has been performing his interactive, hands-on and collaborative “Nudging the Imagination” classroom writing workshops in person or virtually since 1985, focusing on engaging and exciting students about the writing process and aligning with the curriculum.

In all of his K-12 grade-appropriate writing workshops, Steve stresses the use of details, the ease of revision, great descriptive word choices and the inclusion of dialogue in helping students create the best writing pieces in any genre.

Papa Stevie, as he likes to be called, enthusiastically guides students in their creation of Narratives, Mysteries, Tall Tales, Newspaper Articles, Video Magazine Scripts, Mystery Dinner Theater Scripts and whole-school Chapter Books of Cliff-hangers, all of which can tie into content across the curriculum.

Students in Grades 1-3, for instance, brainstorm for characters and a setting as Papa Stevie, an award-winning children’s writer, guides them in generating a narrative in a classroom atmosphere or distance learning platform in which there is no such thing as a bad idea, giving the students permission to contribute ideas for the story he records on his laptop.

In Grades 4 and up, featuring the same animated style and his trusty laptop, Steve leads students through the writing process to create mysteries (never a murder mystery!) and tall tales in addition to developing mystery dinner theater and video magazine scripts and cliff-hangers.

Also, drawing on his 33 years of sports writing experience at the Providence (RI) Journal and ESPN, including 22 years covering the Boston Red Sox on a daily basis, Steve introduces students to his alter ego, Floyd Flapjacque. This writing workshop teaches students how to ask questions and take notes in addition to introducing them to different ways of looking at the same information for different types of stories.

 

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The ultimate goal is to turn your students into eager, independent and enthusiastic writers. "Nudging the Imagination" guides them along that path.

In classroom and remote writing workshops, Steve helps students develop a collaborative story featuring characters and settings that spring strictly from your students’ own imaginations – and no one else’s.

Students will add their voices to the project by suggesting, for instance, a character, a word or a sentence, giving them each a sense of ownership. The students bubble over with excitement, laughter and learning as we “cook up” a story, using the class-generated characters and settings that form our “list of ingredients.”

The concept of “word pictures” – writing so clearly and so descriptively our words become pictures in our minds – is discussed, as are the important concepts of revision and editing.

Ideas for follow-up activities are offered after the story has been completed and a title has been agreed upon in a class vote.

Everyone loves to read a good mystery.

It’s just as much fun to write one, which is what is done in this "Nudging the Imagination"writing workshop. This session is a similar session to the story-writing workshop for K-3 students, but there is more depth and detail to these class-generated characters and setting, which also come strictly from the students’ own imaginations.

The mystery (never a murder mystery!) is developed collaboratively to the point at which a motive has been assigned to each character. The use of dialogue, as well as the concepts of revision, editing and the use “word pictures” – writing so clearly and with so much detail, the words form clear pictures in the reader’s mind – are focal points during the mystery’s creation.

Then, it’s up to each student to write an ending, determining not only "Who" commits the crime, but also answering three other questions in the individual narrative endings, two “Hows” and a “Why.”

How was the crime committed, in more detail? Why was the crime committed, in more detail? How the crime was solved, in more detail?

Using the newspaper, as well as Steve's alter ego, a Renaissance man named "Floyd Flapjacque," the students receive a "Nudging the Imagination" lesson in expository writing, learning how to ask good questions and how to be effective note-takers while also learning the differences between the three basic types of stories they’ll find in a newspaper – news, feature, column/editorial.

The students participate in a zany group interview of Floyd, a self-proclaimed certified genius who skydives, owns an ant farm, has won a Betty Crocker Award and is a superstar baseball player.

When the interview has been concluded, one-third of the class will write up the story up as a news story, one-third as a feature story and one-third as a column/editorial. Students will learn there are slightly different ways of looking at the same material.

This writing workshop dovetails effectively with the Social Studies curriculum, as chapter review, bringing the content to life in an “active learning” way. If, for instance, you have studied George Washington, someone in the class becomes "George" and is interviewed by the class. “George” better know the answers to the questions. The class better be able to ask good questions. Your opportunity, as a teacher, to assess what the students have learned.

If students wrote news stories with "Floyd," they will write feature stories with "George," and when Thomas Jefferson visits, they will write columns or editorials, getting used to writing for a purpose by looking at information in different ways.

This session can be augmented with a question-and-answer session with Steve, revolving around his former job a sports writer, covering the Boston Red Sox for the Providence (RI) Journal.

This "Nudging the Imagination" classroom writing workshop makes content come to life through dialogue and the magic of video to record the action from the script that is collaboratively written, keeping in mind everything the viewer needs to know has to be clear through the characters’ words.

This classroom workshop can be especially effective as chapter review in Science and Social Studies, and it doesn’t have to be elaborately staged. It can be very simply accomplished in terms of video-taping.

TV anchors are created. Field reporters are created. News segments are written, with reports and interviews coming to you live, maybe from the Senate in Sparta, where there’s a debate about a new weapon; or maybe from the Boston Harbor, where tea is being dumped into the water.

Once the segment has been written and filmed, it’s time to add a commercial to the Video Magazine production. Maybe Phidippides is selling foot spray after running from the Battle of Marathon; or maybe Paul Revere is selling SUVs for any important journeys.

While the news segments are fact-based, commercials offer a lessons in the art of persuasive writing and the use of dialogue.

This classroom writing workshop includes a brief discussion of the tall tale genre. Then the students will be writing their own tall tale, drawing upon knowledge they have gained in various content areas in their own classrooms in a collaborative writing exercise.

For instance, maybe your class has studied explorers. During the in-person classroom or virtual visit, those explorers come to life, embellishing their exploits as they sit, for example, in Magellan’s Restaurant in the after-life.

The students’ knowledge of the respective journeys will form the basis of their tall tale.

Just because a story is written once, or illustrated once, does not mean it’s done. Every story can be made better.

Revision is necessary. So is editing. And then there are the steps to turn the project into a published work!

In this interactive workshop, using Steve's lavishly illustrated book, Have A Nice Nap, Humphrey, students will receive a hands-on look at the book’s creation, from soup to nuts.

Original text. Early sketches. Story boards. Magic marker for the illustrations or water colors? Revising for sharper, more vivid word choices. How things change along the way. Why they change.

And then there’s printing process, all of which makes Have A Nice Nap, Humphrey come to life, step by step, for the students in the classroom or in an assembly, either through a distance learning session or an in-person workshop. A question-and-answer session follows.

For information about Nudging the Imagination in-person or remote learning writing workshops, including fees and availability, please contact Steve.