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Youth Blogging: Tutoring as Collaboration & Co-Authoring Lesson Plans

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Recently, a friend called me with concerns about her daughter's disinterest in the writing she was doing in school. Like many parents, she has fears about writing skills and what this might mean for her child's future. Most of our conversation was spent alleviating those concerns. We spoke about the various writing practices that youth engage with in our current culture and I assured her that the out of school writing was just as valuable. In fact, I argued, her daughter is writing and reading all the time: on social media sites, through texts, emails, and in her journal. I ended up making a suggestion: would her daughter be interested in working with two of our university writing mentors, both of whom plan to be future teachers? We met all together and were excited about the possibilities. And we decided that the focus should be on developing a young person who saw the value of writing in her life, not just in school.

With that in mind, our two mentors, Anthony and Macie, set out to design a series of plans to engage a young writer in blogging. All three created blogs and learned about the practice together. Macie and Anthony offer a few of the lessons as a series of resources that can be used and adapted by parents, other writing mentors, or teachers.

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