10-second review: Differentiates between “the traditional diary," a monotonous account of daily events, and the diary as a creative use of writing.
Title: “The Memoir Writing Project: Responding to the Developmental Needs of Students.” S Wyngaard. English Journal (March 1998), 79-81. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: Suggests seven types of writing to include in a diary: list, portrait, map of consciousness, guided imagery, altered point of view, unsent letter and dialogue. Using their diary entries, the students then produced a memoir (historical record) of their school year.
Comment: I’ve always been reluctant to assign diaries because of their personal nature, which, in my very strong opinion, is none of my business. However, the types of writing listed in this article, after students have had the opportunity to learn them and to practice them, would be a great way for students to write creatively and from different points of view—for themselves and, only if they choose, to share them with me. Good writing practice, making writing a daily part of their lives. RayS.
The purpose of this blog, English Education Archives, is to review articles of contemporary interest from past issues of English education journals.