Writings on Readings on Writing: “Write Like This” by Kelly Gallagher – Expressive & Reflective Writing

This chapter spoke to me as I strive to find meaning in most of my daily life. Not that I’m looking for the answers as much as I want to be sure that my experiences are meaningful in the realm of my life. My high school and college education did not include reflection, which has made this time around more enriching.

I want to note some of Gallagher’s tactics, so that I can use them in the future:

  • Writing SMITH Magazine’s six word memoirs – this helps kids/me focus and concentrate on brevity.
  • Constructing a Twitter memoir – using 140 characters only
  • Using a graphic organizer for all writing especially with expressive and reflective writing (see exhibit I below)
  • Finding meaningful places to write about including creating a bucket list, recalling a favorite neighborhood spot – have the students describe these in full-detail by creating a T – chart (see exhibit II)
  • Introducing Articles of the Week – Having them write about current events and why it is relevant in their lives serves a few different purposes: increases their awareness in the world, betters their non-fiction reading skills and improves their writing skills.

Last but certainly not least, I share in Gallagher’s concern that this generation is much less reflective and thoughtful than the past ones. Therefore, extensive expressive and reflective writings as well as journaling can help build the skills and make them enjoyable so students will embrace them.


Exhibit I:

My _________________ Favorite Mistake, Greatest Learning Experience, etc.

What details do I call surrounding that mistake, experience, etc.


Looking back at the event, have I learned? If so, what?

Exhibit II: Select a spot/idea


Recall details, memories and dialogues

Write meanings as to why these hold a special place in your memory

Draw a picture of the memory in order to figure out additional details

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