I was one of those kids who hated writing. It seemed no matter how hard I tried, it was never good enough. Subjects and objects as grammar parts of a sentence? I didn't understand and I didn't care. As a result, I barely passed high school English. Yet today I have more than a hundred titles published for children and adults. What happened? In college, a professor changed my focus from writing to what I could deliver with my writing -- the stories I wanted to create. I also learned that mistakes were a part of the writing process and didn't mean that I was a bad writer. By putting stories on paper -- and editing because I cared about my stories -- my writing became better and better.
As a result, my foundational 'Story Ninja' philosophy is that our innate desire to share stories -- fiction or non-fiction -- is a powerful engine to motivate students to improve literacy skills. This is the approach I take into my Rock and Roll Literacy presentations, which I've shared with over a million students in gym assemblies at schools across North America over the last three decades.
Based on this, through years in the classroom with both gifted and reluctant writers, I've developed a series of lessons along with curriculum guidelines and worksheets. Since I was that student in school who struggled, I break the process into small and manageable steps that are simple and easy to follow and remember.
Thousands of school librarians and teachers have discovered that my video lessons and worksheets are equally effective in a classroom setting or via online teaching. I'm also taking all of this into live virtual teaching at www.storyninjaclasses.com, and I'd love to see your Story Ninjas in my classroom this year!