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Tend Your Garden Nurturing Motivation in Young Adolescent Writers by Mary Anna Kruch

Tend Your Garden Nurturing Motivation in Young Adolescent Writers

Part of the Frameworks for Writing Series


Tend Your Garden Nurturing Motivation in Young Adolescent Writers by Mary Anna Kruch

Tend Your Garden offers an original and adaptable classroom model, built on a foundation of educational research, for motivating young adolescent writers. The Young Adolescent Motivation Model of Writing (YAMM) places the young adolescent learner, aged 11-14, at its center, surrounded by the components needed to motivate the learner to high levels of academic composition or creative writing. The components of the model are: teaching to the whole child; developing a writing community; presenting motivating, high-interest lessons; integrating process writing across the curriculum; offering choice and critical thinking; building upon each writer's strengths; and using authentic assessment. Each component is revealed within succeeding chapters that blend best practice pedagogy with related theory. Sample lessons that fit the needs and engagement levels of young adolescent writers are provided, representing a wide array of writing genres and content area subjects. The YAMM model and the illustrative lessons build upon a background of motivation theory, authentic inquiry, and multi-modal responses. Literature, drama, music, drawing, and painting are offered both as invitations to writing and as responses to writing, and these are applied within a process-based, workshop format, with teacher modeling of each stage of the writing process. The approach recognizes motivation that is tied to the needs of young adolescent writers and that places responsibility on students in their development as writers and learners, while the teacher assumes a facilitative and supportive role of discovering the strengths, interests, and literacy needs of each student. The holistic, learner-centered process approach represented by the YAMM model nurtures students' motivation for achieving success in writing because it necessitates evolving, facilitative roles for the teacher in a collaborative writing community decidedly focused on the success of all young adolescent writers. A primary purpose for writing the text is to identify and describe the characteristic needs of young adolescents, and what these needs imply for those student writers, to the key adults in their lives-teachers, school officials, and parents-who undoubtedly support these young people's achievements. The author selects and weaves thirty years of classroom teaching experiences into each chapter, highlighting memorable moments with her students and inserting her own reflections and inspirations of learning to write along with her students.


'Kruch's references to tenets from the National Writing Project as well as those by the National Council of Teachers of English successfully contextualize her arguments about writing instruction and help readers to value their own experiences as writers while considering current academic conversations about how writing should be taught. My hope is that through reading this textbook, English educators and future writing teachers will become more invested in creating lessons that reinforce the joy of teaching young adolescent writers as critical thinkers, creative beings, and active citizens of the global community.'
From the Forward by Kia Jane Richmond, Associate Professor of English, Secondary Education, Northern Michigan University

About the Author

Mary Anna Kruch is a full-time writer, having taught young adolescents for thirty years. Following retirement from classroom teaching and literacy coaching, she was an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University. Kruch is a former officer in the Michigan Council of Teachers of English and an active fellow in the Red Cedar Writing Project, affiliated with the National Writing Project, at Michigan State University.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th January 2012


Mary Anna Kruch

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Equinox Publishing Ltd


422 pages


Teaching of a specific subject
Educational: English language: reading & writing skills
Secondary schools



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