SPARK!: Quick Writes to Kindle Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms

SPARK!: Quick Writes to Kindle Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms

by Paula Bourque

Paperback(First Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions


Spark! Quick Writes to Kindle Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms 
The act of writing doesn’t just convey our thinking; it shapes our thinking. Literacy expert Paula Bourque, author of Close Writing: Developing Purposeful Writers in Grades 2-6, now brings to K-6 classrooms “quick writes”—short, frequent bursts of low-stakes writing that allow young students to explore on paper.
Bourque presents a way for children to create a rich array of writing, nurturing a range of skills: mindfulness, metacognitive skills, and a mindset of reflection, motivation, and gratitude.
Spark! offers purposeful, practical, and enjoyable approaches that meet your students where they are in their writing development. Using the tools in this volume, you will see tangible results in your classroom:
  • Increased volume and stamina of your writers
  • Deeper thinking and discovery of their voices as writers
  • More effective and confident communication
  • Engagement with visual, auditory, and verbal art that stimulates thinking
  • Exploration and appreciation of the diverse thinking of others
Even in a tight schedule, Bourque’s tools of “thinking and inking” can enliven your students’ writing experiences. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625312006
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date: 01/24/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 1,018,963
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 5 - 11 Years

About the Author

Paula Bourque is a National Board-Certified Teacher of literacy and a K-6 instructional coach in Augusta, Maine. She considers herself a lifelong learner and has worn many hats in her thirty-plus years in education: classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, literacy specialist, consultant, adjunct instructor, presenter, and mom. Follow her on Twitter @LitCoachLady or at 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Why Quick Write? 6

Chapter 2 How to Use Quick Writes 23

Chapter 3 Emerging Quick Writes: Automaticity for Primary Writers 34

Mystery Letter 38

Label Maker 39

Word Bursts 41

Piggyback Sentences 43

Informational Quick Writes 45

Kindergarten: Prior Knowledge 45

First Grade: Compare and Contrast 48

First Grade: Brainstorming 48

First Grade: Questioning 50

Reading Response Quick Writes 50

Poetry 51

Literature 51

Chapter 4 Informational Quick Writes: Knowledge, Wonder and Opinion 54

Informational Avalanche 55

Quick Writes as K-W-L 56

Content Area Learning 58

News Magazines for Visualizing, Previews, and Paraphrasing 63

Videos for Building Schema 65

Infographics 67

Extracurricular Experiences 67

Opinions 71

Point/Counterpoint 72

Questions vs. Statements 72

Persuasive information 74

Editorial Cartoons 75

Reviews and Recommendations 75

Chapter 5 Appreciation Quick Writes, Bringing the Arts Back to Language Arts 80

Photos/Mystery Photos 82

Art 86

Ekphrasis 88

Music 90

Song Lyrics 92

Poetry 94

Literature 94

Wordless Books 97

Book Trailers 97

Chapter 6 Creativity Quick Writes: Composing and Communicating 101

Poetry as Wordplay 104

Figurative Language 109

Flash Fiction 112

Title Tales 115

Opening Lines 115

Dialogue 118

Show, Don't Tell 118

Letter Writing 121

Letters of Gratitude 121

Friendly Letters 121

Persuasive Letters 123

Fan Mail 123

Chapter 7 Social Emotional Quick Writes: Mindfulness, Metacognition and Mind-Set 126

Mindful Mantras 128

Role Playing 133

Exit Slips 135

Self-Reflections 137

Reflecting on Identity 141

Exploring Beliefs About Ourselves 141

Fostering Growth Mind-Set 144

Reframing 145

Chapter 8 Teacher Quick Writes: Inspiring Learning and Leading 148

Collaboration Sparks 153

Challenge Sparks 158

References 166

Index 168

Customer Reviews