Teaching Ideas

  • Characterization
  • Instructional Posters
  • Story Starters
    Shared Writing using Email
  • Using Poster Size Printing for Group Editing
  • Using Poster Sized Graphic Organizers
  • Organizing Off the Computer

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Writer’s Companion™ was developed with the goal of mimicking, on computer, how we teacher process writing in the classroom. We have found that using the program as an instructional tool engages students in the process of writing, allowing them to explore information from an entirely new perspective. Most of ideas in this section originated from the explorations of teachers and students—from first graders to seniors in high school—using Writer’s Companion™ at our beta-test sites.

One reason we believe that so many interesting ideas cropped up is that Writer’s Companion™ is especially well suited for students who have grown up in a world in which many of their experiences occurred within multimedia environments. Writer’s Companion™ is a natural extension of those experiences, allowing students to create stories that not only print out, but also can actually become animated movies that can be shared over the Internet.

In the end, you too will probably get your best ideas from using Writer’s Companion™ with your students, in a large group context if possible. We as adults, have built up preconceived notions of what communication is. Hopefully, the examples below will help you break free and create.


Instructional Posters
The Poster Size Printout feature of Writer’s Companion™ is perfect for creating instructional posters for your classroom. This is a great way to display student writing and create a print-rich environment in your classroom. You can use poster-size printouts in any of the formats in Writer’s Companion™

Using Poster Sized Graphic Organizers
Printing out the a cluster, venn diagram or timeline as a poster can be use two ways: in group editing to help and individual reorganize their story or essay; or as an instructional tool to teach how to use various types of graphic organizers.

Poster Size Story Starters

Shared Writing using Email
Use the email feature of Writer’s Companion™ to create a truly unique shared writing process in your classroom. Have your students create the first page or paragraph of a story and then email it to other students in your classroom, across the country or even around the world.

Organizing Off the Computer
Print your ideas poster sized or regular size. Cutout the ideas as individual cards and arrange them off the computer. You can even create a template for the graphic organizers by creating a blank one on the computer and printing it out poster size.

Using the Thesaurus to Add Depth to Student Writing

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