Welcome. My name is Corbett Harrison, and I have been an educator and a teacher-trainer since 1991. I specialize in teaching writing using differentiated instruction. I also focus on critical thinking techniques, especially during the pre-writing and revision steps of the writing process.

I serve Northern Nevada for nine months of the year (August-May), and during summers and during our two-weeek breaks during the school year, I hire myself out to school districts and professional organizations around the country.

Summer of 2014 is all booked. If you would like to check my availability for the summer of 2015, please contact me at my e-mail address.

 

Always
Write

 
       Because writing--when taught right--can be the most enjoyable part of your teaching day, I created this website.

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Access to the "Writing Lessons of the Month" Archive, 2007-2012:

Between 2007 and 2012, I helped my Northern Nevada Writing Project maintain an online forum that sent out a monthly writing lesson from WritingFix to all educators who joined the network. We used a Ning as our on-line distribution tool, and at our "heyday," we had over 20,000 members. In 2011, the NNWP lost its national funding, and their new website design--for reasons that still baffle me--did not include a page for the continuation of the "Writing Lesson of the Month" network. I am still amazed at their choice not to keep this page at their new website...

And so...Here is a page I salvaged from the old NNWP webpage and now house it here at my website to allow teachers to access the current and past "Lessons of the Month" from the NNWP's 2007-2013 program for teachers that I coordinated for them. I am no longer confident the NNWP will re-establish this page at their website, so please update your links to this page to be able to access the lessons below.
Here is the Archive for 2007-2013:


Accessing the Writing Lesson
of the Month
Ning!

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If you're already a member of our Writing Lesson of the Month Network, you can easily access the Ning and all its features by clicking here. Come explore the Ning & join one of our interest groups.


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Interested in joining 20,000+ members who receive the monthly e-mail directing them to the Lesson of the Month? Click here to create a profile and become a member! It's easy, and it's free to join!

Do you appreciate these free lessons? You can easily say thank you for providing them by purchasing--if you need to--the lessons' cited mentor texts using the link to Amazon.com that I have provided. By doing so, I receive a very small percentage of the sale, but those small amounts add up and help me keep this website online, free of advertising.
December's Writing Lesson of the Month:
Epistolary Narratives & Notebook Pages
November's Writing Lesson of the Month
Start & Stop Poems

An epistolary story is one told through documents, not normal narration. My students created original 6-document epistolary stories and epistolary summaries of books we had already read.

This lesson was just a fun idea I had while showing my students how many times they had to use a new vocabulary word--epistolary--before they "owned" the word as one of their vocabulary words. Their final products turned out exceptionally well...and they all know a new vocabulary word.

The "Center-Square Lesson" from our November Writer's Notebook Bingo Card remains one of our most popular original poetry formats. Since I have 6th-8th graders who "move up" with me each year, I now have three purposes of this notebook prompt I introduce when they are only eleven:

  • My sixth graders do Start & Stop Poems about the seasons and about the novel Animal Farm.
  • My seventh graders write Start & Stop Poems about the writing genres, and the eighth graders write them about the writing traits.
Featured Writing Lessons of the Month from 2013--my seventh year sponsoring this program!
January's Writing Lesson:
Extending Interesting Metaphors

inspired by Pat Benatar's song
Love is a Battlefield
February's Writing Lesson:
Crazy Time & Place
for a Newscast


inspired by Margie Palatini's
Tub-boo-boo
March's Writing Lesson:
Superhero
Origin Stories


inspired by Bob McLeod's SuperHero ABC
April's Writing Lesson:
Song
Parodies


inspired by Alan Katz's Take Me Out of the Bathtub
May's Writing Lesson:
Original Story-Title
Collections


inspired by Robert Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess
June's Notebook Prompt:
"Have I Told You That You are ___?" Poems

inspired by Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing

July's Writing Lesson:
Ridiculous
Essays


inspired by Dr. Seuss'
Green Eggs and Hame
August's Writing Lesson:
Fixing Mr. Dickens
Comma Splices


inspired by the opening paragraph of Dickens' ATale of Two Cities
September's Writing Lesson:
Giving Hands &
Taking Hands


inspired partly by Gretchen Bernabei's The Story of My Thinking
October's Writing Lesson:
How Big is
Your Brave?


inspired by Sara Baraellis'
song/video Brave
November's Writing Lesson:
Start & Stop
Poems


inspired by Ralph Fletcher's
Twilight Comes Twice
December's Notebook Prompt:
Epistolary
Narratives


inspired by Daniel Keyes'
Flowers for Algernon

Featured Writing Lessons of the Month from 2012--the sixth year of this program!
January's Writing Lesson:
Between
Repeated Lines


inspired by Mary Ann Hoberman's Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers
February's Writing Lesson:
The Skin
You're In


inspired by Sharon G. Flake's The Skin I'm In
March's Writing Lesson:
An Environmental
Alphabet Book


inspired by Stephen Johnson's' Alphabet City
April's Writing Lesson:
Digital Photos as
Writing Prompts


inspired by Hank Kellner's Write What You See
May's Writing Lesson:
Poems to Bug
Your Reader!


inspired by Douglas Florian's Insectlopedia
June's Writing Lesson:
Let's Celebrate
HistoryFix


inspired by Barry Lane's 51 Wacky We-Search Reports

July's Writing Lesson:
Let's Celebrate
ScienceFix

inspired by Barry Lane's 51 Wacky We-Search Reports
August's Writing Lesson:
A Hare's
Distance


inspired by Holly Young's
The Underachievers
September's Writing Lesson:
A Classroom of
Logophiles


inspired by Roni Schotter's
The Boy Who Loved Words
October's Writing Lesson:
Fetching the
Binoculars


inspired by Jack Gantos'
Dead End in Norvelt
November's Writing Lesson:
Inferrring a Narrative
Story-Board


inspired by David Guetta's music video for the song Titanium
December's Writing Lesson:
"Root Attack!"
Vocabulary Posters


inspired by Alana Morrris' book for teachers, Vocabulary Unplugged
    Back to top of page    
Featured Writing Lessons of the Month...the 2011 Archive:
January's Lesson:
Leads for an
Embarrassing Moment


inspired by Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963
February's Lesson:
Beyond the Basic Bibliography Report

inspired by Louise Borden's
A. Lincoln and Me
March's Lesson:
The Vocabulary
Fashion Show


inspired by Debra Frasier's Miss Alaineus
April's Lesson:
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Poems

inspired by a Beatles' song and two other songs
May's Lesson:
Don't Eat Me!
Monologues


inspired by Steven L. Layne's My Brother Dan's Delicious
June's Prompt:
Show What Your
Mind Sees

inspired by Roald Dahl's
The Twits
July's Lesson:
Showing Creative Problem Solving

inspired by an excerpt from Jack London's Call of the Wild
August's Lesson:
Showing with Participial Phrases

inspired by Debbie Allen's Dancing in the Wings
September's Lesson:
Showing Nice without Ever Saying Nice

inspired by Jospehine Nobisso's Show; Don't Tell

October's Lesson:
Showing Plots
& Conflicts


inspired by Ralph Fletcher's
Live Writing

November's Lesson:
Thanksgiving Turkey Protests

inspired by Keiko Kasza's
My Lucky Day

December's Lesson:
Showing Credit Where Credit Might Be Due

inspired by Robert Lawson's
Ben & Me

       
Featured Writing Lessons of the Month...the 2010 Archive:
January:
Unique Imaginary
Friends


inspired by
Ted
by Tony DiTerlizzi
February:
I Say to You...
I Have a Dream!


inspired by U2's
Pride (in the Name of Love
)
March:
Prose
Poetry


inspired by Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street
April:
Personifying
Abstractions


inspired by J. Ruth Gelder's
The Book of Qualities
May:
The Color
of Love


inspired by I Love You the Purplest by Barbara Joosse
June:
One Minute
in Time
Poems


inspired by 10:15 on a Saturday Night
by The Cure
July:
Scheming Against
an Adversary


inspired by
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
August:
How Big
is Hagrid?


inspired by J. K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book
September:
Fierce Wondering
Stories


inspired by Marissa Moss's first Amelia notebook

October:
What Your Room Says about You!


inspired by Robert McCammon's 1st chapter of Boy's Life

November:
To Imitate Two Natural Writers


inspired by Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall

December:
Serendipitous Character Descriptions

inspired by Mem Fox's
Tough Boris

       
Featured Writing Lessons of the Month...the 2009 Archive:

January:
Onomatopoetic
Field Trips


inspired by Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root

February:
Overcoming a
Personified Fear


inspired by There's a Nightmare in my Closet by Mercer Mayer

March:
Giving Voice
to Opposites


inspired by I Am the Dog. I am the Cat by Donald Hall
April:
What Got
Stolen?


inspired by Grandpa's Teeth by Rod Clement
May:
Summertime-inspired
Memories


inspired by various renditions of he song Summertime from the opera Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin

June:
What If...
Poetry


inspired by What If... by Regina Williams

July:
Moving through
the Machine


inspired by Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
August:
Things I Love
Songs & Poems


inspired by I Love, sung by Tom T. Hall
September:
Narrative Skills
from Mr. Fletcher


inspired by Marshfield Dreams and How to Write Your Life Story, both by Ralph Fletcher
October:
Special Places
to Love

inspired by All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
November:
With Your Own
Two Hands


inspired by With My Own Two Hands, sung by Ben Harper, and Waiting on the World to Change, sung by John Mayer
December:
Short Adventure
Stories


inspired any of the Choose Your Own Adventure Books by R.A. Montgomery
       
Featured Writing Lessons of the Month...the 2008 Archive:

January:
You're on a
Gigantic Roll


inspired by James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

February:
Start with What
ISN'T There


inspired by Caves
by Stephen Kramer

March:
So Much
Depends Upon...


inspired by Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
April:
Pros, Cons,
and Hooks


inspired by How I Became a Pirate by David Shannon
May:
Writing Like
an Artist Paints


inspired by Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

June:
Rolling with
the Animals


inspired by Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

July:
A Time
Traveler's Log


inspired by The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
August:
Fairy Tale
Tabloids


inspired by Fairytale News by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
September:
Using 90th
Street's Advice


inspired by Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
October:
A Moment Like
This
Memoir


inspired by Milkweed
by Jerry Spinelli
November:
Poems of
Apology


inspired by This is Just to Say by Joyce Sidman
December:
Between Repeated
Catch Phrases


inspired by Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
       
Featured Writing Lessons of the Month...the 2007 Archive:

January:
Interjected
Emotions!


inspired by No, David! by David Shannon

February:
Haiku
Riddles


inspired by If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky

March:
Powerful First
Paragraphs


inspired by
Brave Margaret by Robert De San Souci
April:
Top Secret
Rule Reasons!


The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups by David Wisniewski
May:
A Scientific
Mishap


inspired by Dogzilla
by Dav Pilkey

June:
Three-Meal
Weather


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi & Ron Barrett

July:
Fairy Tales in
New Settings


inspired by Bubba the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman
August:
I Wanna
[Something]...


inspired by I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufmann Orloff
September:
"Knot" the
Whole Truth


inspired by Maniac Magee
by Jerry Spinelli
October:
Floating Down
a River


inspired by Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett
November:
Silly Animal
Problems


inspired by Dog Breath
by Dav Pilkey
December:
Four Metaphor
Poetry


inspired by Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox