I love the line from Lucy Calkins about deadlines—she calls them “lifelines.”  As a student, I dreaded deadlines.  They seemed imposing and sometimes even terrifying.  They motivated me, yes, but they didn’t give me cause for celebration.

However, with my students, I am able to convey the life-giving nature of deadlines.  We consider the way they imbue work with increased urgency and purpose.  We recognize the way we work differently as writers and learners with a clear timeline in place.

Today, our opinion writing cause groups had a deadline.  They began writing about their causes (endangered animals, smoking, exercise, littering) on Monday, and they worked all week to plan, research, draft, and publish various types of opinion writing (letters, petitions, speeches, editorials).  Though they didn’t all stick to their design plans, they did finish!  Now that is cause for celebration.

A letter about smoking
A student’s speech about endangered animals
Cause group design plans


Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana, and Betsy at Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!


One thought on “Lifelines

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