BRIDGING THE GAP Reading Critically & Writing Meaningfully to Get to the Core
.BRIDGING THE GAP: Reading Critically & Writing Meaningfully to Get to the Core (Rowman & Littlefield)
One of the most popular literary genres, memoir can provide literary and literacy access to reluctant adolescent readers and writers, and help bridge the achievement gap by motivating students to read more critically and write more meaningfully about what matters most to them. The introspective nature of memoir helps students learn about themselves and connect with their environment or community, while also meeting a variety of English-Language Arts standards.
Memoir validates students and their experiences and causes them to reflect on the people, places, artifacts, and events which made them who they are today. Memoir also builds classroom community as students learn about each other through their stories.
In this way, memoirs and creative nonfiction can provide a bridge between
fiction and nonfiction reading,
narrative and informative writing,
reading and writing, and
can afford a “way in” to literacy for all adolescents.
Memoirs can be written in prose, in different poetic forms, i.e., list poems, free verse, narrative rhyming poetry, sonnets, limericks, haiku stanzas, odes, and in graphics, all of which are detailed with mentor texts, teacher models, student examples. In each chapter, there are full-size reproducible forms for brainstorming each type of memoir as well as for brainstorming ideas for memoirs.
Bridging the Gap also shares lessons for reading memoirs, with over 150 memoir reading recommendations across the curriculum, and reader response forms for reading-like-a-writer. For teachers: As teachers. . . .we must build a scaffold on which children can build a memoir from their memories. For teachers looking for such a scaffold, and who wish to make memoir a central part of their writing instruction, I highly recommend Lesley Roessing's book, Bridging the Gap: Reading Critically and Writing Meaningfully to Get to the Core. . . .The instructional design suggested in the book, reflects Roessing's thorough understanding of best practice and the book provides clear direction and suggested resources for each step in the design. I think classroom teachers would find the design helpful, easy to follow. . . .Teachers could use the book as a guide for a complete unit on memoir, or select key lessons from the book to enhance their own writing units. Busy classroom teachers need practical suggestions for writing instruction that are rooted in sound instructional practice and which promise to be engaging and successful with diverse students. With Bridging the Gap, Lesley Roessing has more than filled this need. ― Russ on Reading …and for student writers: I wrote 'Beastie' [Chapter 11] in the eighth grade, a time when my head was usually half in the newest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. When Mrs. Roessing presented the comics form as a potential route for memoir writing, I knew I had to create one of those little, funny books. Looking back, I think this strip was where I began to generate my voice as a personal writer. The panels were my home, and in one's home, you feel comfortable, going on a tangent about how pitbulls freak you out. -- Kevin Shirley, Temple University
The introduction is a memoir by writer, child advocate, and friend Barry Lane.
Bridging the Gap was also reviewed by 6-Traits writing expert Vicki Spandel: See REVIEW.