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Their Stories, Their Voices

Using Personal Narrative to Empower Student Writers, Grades 6–12

By: Kourtney Hake, Paige Timmerman

This book helps secondary education teachers understand what personal narrative looks like, how it can empower student writers to create authentic writing, and how it allows students to use their own voices while writing in other genres. Find helpful unit examples and ways to include personal narratives in analytical writing.

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A step-by-step framework for personal narrative writing

Personal narrative writing has taken a backseat to other forms of writing in the classroom, such as research essays and literary analysis. Kourtney Hake and Paige Timmerman share a step-by-step, build-your-own framework that helps students excel in writing, showing how personal narrative harnesses students’ natural urge to tell stories.

This book helps grades 6–12 English language arts teachers:

  • Approach writing instruction in a scientific way
  • Learn how to hold a workshop, allowing student writers to explore and receive feedback
  • Take advantage of three-, four-, and five-week unit plans by trying them in their own classrooms
  • Use personal narrative in sensitive ways while considering student trauma, diversity of voices, and applicability to all learners
  • Help students understand how they can use words to inform others, analyze difficult questions, persuade others to make changes for good and facilitate valuable reflection

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Additional Information

Product Code: BKG173, EKF717

ISBN: 9781960574220

Published By: Solution Tree

“The kind of book you want to buy for every first-year English teacher, Their Stories, Their Voices is a well-organized and practical approach to bringing the personal narrative back to its rightful place at the center of the rhetorical universe of your classroom. Students will thank you.”

Liz Prather, author, Story Matters: Teaching Teens to Use the Tools of Narrative to Argue and Inform; writing teacher, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Kentucky

“Investing in student narrative pays out dividends. Their Stories, Their Voices emphasizes both the importance of this type of writing while providing teachers with practical methods and resources for developing this kind of writing. From using narrative as a means to persuade to creating memoirs, Their Stories, Their Voices empowers teachers to harness the power of student voice to develop young writers.”

Rachel Swain, American literature and AP English language arts teacher, ITW David Speer Academy, Illinois

“In Their Stories, Their Voices, Hake and Timmerman flip what we think we know about narrative writing upside down, showing us that our personal stories can help us fulfill nearly any purpose or intention we have in writing. This book has it all: mentor texts, lesson sequences, calendars. This book is so rich with ideas and resources that it is a teacher’s one-stop shop for teaching narrative writing—not just for one school year, but for many years to come. I anticipate it will live on the corner of my desk where I can grab it and use it constantly in my classroom.”

Rebekah O’Dell, coauthor, A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts, 6–12; English teacher, St. Michael’s Episcopal School, Virginia
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