Non-Linguistic Representation

I recieved an interesting assignment in my Teaching the Composing Process class: using images rather than prose, create a piece that explains how you write.

I found this assignment challenging and fun, and I think that it would be great to use in the high school classroom. The project could be created via animation, collage, computer image applications, or (like I used) good old fashioned drawing. Using visual language as expression not only would address NCTE standard four, but it really forces one to think in an introspective, reflective way about the writing process. Also great conversation-starting fodder for the beginning of the year, for kids to get to know one another as writers and for me to get to know their writing preferences, struggles, and expectations…

See my project below! (Click on the image for full view.)

  1. Natalie said:


    I am a very nosy person and your website was listed in the email you forwarded to all of us, so I decided to take a look. First of all, I have to say that you are going to be an amazing teacher and you have put us all to shame. This is beyond anything I am even capable of doing right now! When do you find the time? Second, I am beginning a writing unit with my students next week and I have been trying to come up with an opening lesson to “kick off” the unit. Also, because I am placed at Roosevelt School for the Arts, I have been trying to incorporate drawing or art of some kind into the curriculum. I think that this assignment would be a great, creative way for me to see how they view their writing process. The problem is that I don’t know how much time I will have to create my own visual representation. Would I be able to borrow yours if I decide to do this and can’t get around to making my own ? (Or even if I create my own, perhaps two different models would be better to demonstrate that everyone writes differently.) Let me know.

  2. miss4my said:


    I’m so happy you stopped by the blog! Thanks for the kind words–I’ll totally keep this comment in my “Read when you are having a bad day” file! 🙂 As far as when I find time… well… I *make* time, but only about a half hour every week or so. You’re so right–even THAT is hard to achieve, but I find it writing on here really rewarding. And I’m a fast typer.

    I think your idea to use drawing as a kick-off activity is an awesome one. I never really thought about my own writing process that far in-depth until I was asked to represent it visually. Feel free to use my piece as an example, whether it’s in tandem with yours or not. I’d be honored!

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