Articles by: Jane Higgins

New Feature: NYCWP Forum

New Feature: NYCWP Forum

Announcing the NYCWP Forum!   One of the great things about being an NYCWP teacher (or as we sometimes call ourselves in-house, “Writing Project People”) is that you are part of a community of like-minded, creative, enthusiastic teachers.  Anyone who has ever participated in an NYCWP workshop series or Summer […]

Photo Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

TTT: How do we teach about Ferguson?

    The events in Ferguson, Missouri over the last several weeks, which have been covered extensively on social networks and, to a lesser extent, in the media, are an extremely difficult–and extremely important–topic to discuss with our students.  This is especially true for those of us who teach older students who […]

Call for Submissions:  Steal This Idea!

Call for Submissions: Steal This Idea!

Steal This Idea is a roundup of submissions from NYCWP-affiliated teachers; this section of our website will be updated frequently with great lessons and activities that you can use in your classrooms.  Reading Steal This Idea will give you access to the ideas and innovations of a wide range of classroom teachers […]

From the Director’s Notebook: Changes

From the Director’s Notebook: Changes

    September 4, 2014 Dear NYCWP Community, This week marks the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year as well as my first full school year as the Director of the New York City Writing Project.  This fall has brought many changes, both within the Project and within your schools. […]

STEAL THIS IDEA: People, Places, Times and Things

In their notebooks, students should make four headings:  People, Places, Times and Things.  Students are then asked to list four childhood memories that relate to each of these headings. Here are some suggestions to get kids going: A person who/whose: I hated; death made me the saddest; I respected very […]


Once every few weeks, put students into mixed groups and allow them to give a five minute “pitch” for a book they recently finished.  They should give a summary, mention a few high points (or low points) and share their opinion of the book.  The other students in the group […]

STEAL THIS IDEA: Revision “Telephone”

Revision “telephone” can help students to change the wording of lines or sections of their writing that they’re having trouble saying the way they want to say them.  Students should select a sentence from their writing that is giving them difficulty.  They read the line aloud and then they go […]

STEAL THIS IDEA: A New Twist on Active Listening

You probably already have your students using active listening protocols in your classroom, but have you thought about other ways that you can use active listening in your classroom? Try using written active listening as a note taking strategy.  Having students jot in their notebooks things like “I heard so-and-so say…” […]

STEAL THIS IDEA: “What You Have Heard Is True”

Looking for a good “getting to know you” writing prompt for the beginning of the school year? Ask students to start a piece of writing with the following statement:  What you have heard is true.  See where their pens take them from there!   Steal This Idea is a roundup […]

NYCWP Teacher-Leaders meet with John Legend

NYCWP Teacher-Leaders meet with John Legend

      NYCWP Teacher-Leaders recently met with musician John Legend and Executive Director of the National Writing Project (NWP) to discuss Legend’s latest philanthropic ventures in education.  Participants had the opportunity to share their teaching practice with Legend, as well as to ask him questions about his music, his […]