Sparks, Celebrations, and Kids: An Ethnographic Study of Writers Club

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Virginia Tech


This descriptive study was designed to be an in-depth, ethnographic study of an after-school Writers Club that had been part of the fabric of a metropolitan area elementary school's culture for 12 years. The purpose of this research was to learn more about meaning-based pedagogy by examining Writers Club and the activities conducted within it with a focus on reading aloud. As the narrowing focus on skill and drill practices that are a by product of high stakes testing continues to grab time, attention, and headlines, educators and policymakers deserve access to examples of more meaning-based pedagogy in actual contexts. This research was focused on the activities that occurred during club meetings as well as on the meanings that participants of the club made concerning those activities, particularly as they related to the embedded read alouds. Revealed through the voices of selected participants, Writers Club proved to be a venue for read aloud events that built upon the reading/writing connection and served to allow children to develop as writers amongst a community that included adults as well as peers.



writing with children, read alouds