Something that has been stirring inside of me for awhile now is the way research is an integral part of a writers life. It doesn’t matter the genre you are writing; research is critical. As teachers it is easy to put “research” in its own box; devoting time to it in a unit of study, but not truly tapping the power of it as a writer.
I realized this when I first embarked on writing fiction. I was surprised to find myself consistently using my research skills to complete my draft. I’ve been dabbling with this in classrooms. As often as possible, I
beg ask teachers to let me bring research into their current unit of study.
I’m on a quest to break down the walls surrounding research in classrooms.
After Sam and I finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, we faced the acknowledgments. Line after line filed his research that impacted his fictional story. He directed us to websites to learn more, he shared museums he studied, he listed actual films that influenced his choices as a writer. Research impacted his story.
|The Invention of Hugo Cabret by
Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
Research impacts narrative. Research impacts persuasion. And I’m thinking these are reciprocal relationships. Story impacts research choices. Opinions impact narrative. I’m playing with these ideas, studying how this plays out for myself as a writer, for professional writers, and for our youngest writers. I’m thinking about what this means when filtered through Common Core Standards.
Yes, this is the beginning of a new professional project. Where it will lead, I’m not sure. It is prickling my mind, making me ask questions, and tugging on Mission Story.