Teaching Talented Writers with Web 2.0 Tools

By Olthouse, Jill M.; Miller, Myriah Tasker | Teaching Exceptional Children, November/December 2012 | Go to article overview

Teaching Talented Writers with Web 2.0 Tools


Olthouse, Jill M., Miller, Myriah Tasker, Teaching Exceptional Children


Although many students struggle with writing, an often more challenging issue for teachers is how to deal with students who have exceptional writing talent. This population of students may exhibit skills that are often overlooked by simply focusing on gradelevel standardized assessments. Yet teachers have noted that some students are writing 50,000-word novels, specializing in composing sermons or scientific papers, writing creatively but off-topic, or demonstrating advanced skills such as extended metaphor, sometimes even in their spare time or at the elementary level (Noel & Edmunds, 2006; Olthouse, 2012b; Piirto, 1992). Just as a struggling writer deserves support to master this important life skill, these students deserve challenging assignments and constructive feedback to help them develop and nurture their unique talent for writing.

One way that exceptionally gifted writers can be challenged in today's classrooms is through online resources, which may present students who are gifted with writing experiences that align with their level of talent. According to Ng and Nicholas (2007), online writing communities offer students who are gifted a chance to explore and create a supportive peer group, whereas otherwise they might become disengaged and segregated from the general classroom curriculum. Participating in these online writing communities matches talented writers with other talented writers based on ability and interest. Through these two facets, students who are gifted become engaged and active in their own learning or writing processes. Online writing networks become a curricular differentiation vehicle limiting students only by their interests and capabilities (Sheffield, 2007).

Talented writers have specific characteristics that can be supported and enhanced with wise use of online writing tools. Teachers should keep in mind these characteristics as they encourage students to move beyond writing for another "A" to writing to be heard and make a contribution with their creative talent.

The first characteristic to look for in talented writers is they often tend to seek out intellectual peers with similar talents (Kohányi, 2005). An intellectual peer is a friend who has similar interests and intellectual abilities. Just as adults have friends of varying ages, these writers can benefit from a peer mentor who is a few years older (e.g., a junior in high school serving as a writing partner/mentor to a fourthgrader). In addition, talented writers often model their practices after expert authors, and find that they are unique, but not alone (Olthouse, 2012a). In addition, students gain intellectual humility that comes with the realization that there are many other talented young writers; they begin to judge their writing against those of their peers and role models rather than against basic curriculum goals. Challenging these exceptional writers can be accomplished by giving them the opportunity to network with other writers via web sites targeted towards young writers.

A second characteristic of talented writers is their intellectual precocity with language (Piirto, 2002). As a teacher, keep in mind talented writers often have above-average reading ability, broad reading interests, and rapid learning (Piirto, 2002). These students might be able to learn more quickly by surfing through various writing web sites than by following a predetermined curriculum sequence (Siegle, 2004). Ideally, as their teacher, try to find challenging, high-quality literature online, written by their peers as well as by published authors. Nurturing this type of students' interest and at the same time challenging them to grow should be the primary goal for the material being sought to support their writing.

Talented young writers also are intrinsically motivated (Edmunds & Noel, 2003; Garrett & Moltzen, 2011; Olthouse, 2012a). In interview studies, both published authors and young writers have discussed struggles in school with teachers who value grammar and spelling more than imagination (Freeman, 1979; Olthouse 2012b). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Teaching Talented Writers with Web 2.0 Tools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.