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Welcome. My name is Corbett Harrison. I have been an educator since 1990, and a teacher-trainer and University adjunct professor since 1998. I specialize in teaching writing using differentiated instruction techniques. I also focus on critical thinking skills, especially during the pre-writing and revision stages of the writing process. I retired from the classroom in June of 2019, and I will continue to consult with schools, districts, and states who are more interested in developing quality writing plans, not buying from one-size-fits-all writing programs.

Beginning over the summer of 2019, I will be available once again to train teachers your school or district if you would like to hire a qualified and dynamic trainer. You can find general information about my workshops here.

If you would like to check my availability for a specific date or dates for the 2019-20 school year, please contact me at this e-mail address. My calendar is already fillling up with workshop engagements.


Write & WritingFix

       Because writing--when taught right--can be the most enjoyable part of your teaching day, we created this website to provide fresh ideas and lessons for teachers.

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Contact me through my e-mail address with questions/comments about this lesson: Corbett@CorbettHarrison.com

Here's one of my original writer's notebook lessons. To assist our students as they pre-write in their Writer's Notebooks for ideas that will become Writing Workshop topics, my wonderful wife (Dena Harrison), a fabulous fellow NNWP Consultant (Jenny Hoy), and I conceived and created eight Choice Menus for Notebooks/Workshop during a recertification class we took during Spring Break of 2012. In August of 2012, we began selling the set of eight menus to help fund this website of ours; each menu comes with a special link to a writer's notebook lesson that only purchasers of the product have direct access to.

Want extra credit, my students? You'll notice my teacher's example of the notebook page below. I took extra time and care to make the page really standout in my notebook. Any student who goes to the trouble to make his/her notebook page rival the quality of mine could very well earn extra credit points on this task. Remember, the only time I really award extra credit is when you put an extra effort into a notebook page you have been assigned; extra credit means extra effort on what is already assigned, not a supplemental task done desperately at the end of the semester.

A Writers Notebook Challenge...from my notebook to yours:
A Creative "Seaweed Salad":
That's a Crazy Place to Place
a News Reporter, Isn't It?

Overview of this Notebook Prompt:

If you look back near my teacher desk, you will see a framed picture with a goofy picture in it. This was a gift to me from an author-friend of mine--Barry Lane, who wrote a book that I and your fellow teachers use a lot: 51 Wacky We-Search Reports. The picture is a cartoon of a dolphin in a suit anchoring the "Dolphin News Tonight" with an ocean background. If you look closely at the book cover at left, you will see that same picture on the bottom-center cover. I proudly own the original drawing that is featured on this book's cover!

One of Barry's assignments in that great book is called "Wacky Newscasts," and it asks a writer to suppose that other creatures (like dolphins) hosted their own news broadcasts. It's a funny, wacky idea. It can make a thoughtful, funny piece of writing too. Can you image, for example, what stories would be broadcast on the Amoeba Nightly News?

I was also charmed by a book by one of my favorite picture book authors--Margie Palatini--who wrote the book at right titled Tub-boo-boo. It's contains one of those bad-situations-that-gets-worse-as-more-people-try-to-help stories as it conveys the story of a young boy whose toe embarrassingly becomes stuck in the bathtub spigot. My favorite element of the story is that it's introduced by the unlucky boy's older sister, who pretends she's a news reporter standing on the family's front lawn explaining what developing news is going on inside the home. It's very clever.

The mentor text that inspired this notebook idea:


by Margie Palatini

Your creative challenge for your notebook...Choose any one of these sets of questions: So here are a few questions to consider answering as you take on this month's extra credit notebook challenge:

  • Other than dolphins, what animals (including microscopic) would put on a funny newscast? Can your newscast share actual facts about those animals in their reporting of the news?
  • What plants would put on a funny newscast? Can your newscast share actual facts about those animals in their reporting of the news?
  • What funny, true family story can you report on in the same way the big sister does in Tub-boo-boo? Can you make it sound like a personal narrative?
  • What historical event (from before the days they had TV or radio news reporters) can you anachronistically report on like they would with a modern day news reporter? Can your newscast share some lesser-known facts about the event in the reporting of the news?
In your Writer's Notebook:
Select one of the sets of questions from above and create a notebook page that focuses on an unusual news reporter reporting the news.

Need an example? Here's the page I created for my writer's notebook. What do you think? Let me know by telling me in class or--if you're not one of my own students--by e-mailing me at: corbett@corbettharrison.com. Can you create a writer's notebook page that's more original than mine? I'll bet you can...

Click the image to be able to zoom in on any details. Did you learn any new facts about Washington's Crossing of the Delaware from my news reporter's words?

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