About the YARN Toolbox

Hello Teachers,

Image Courtesy of Jimmy Hilario (flickr.com)

Thanks for coming to the Teach section of YARN. As we mentioned in our first letter to you in this section, the YARN editors are also teachers and we understand just how useful a completely prepared lesson plan can be, especially one based on fresh, new material that your students likely have never seen before!

We want to continue offering you great ideas for your classroom, but we’re going to change our format. As teachers, I’m sure you understand just how busy and hectic life can get–for teachers as well as short-staffed-literary-journal editors. As much as we’d like to offer you brand-new lesson plans every semester, I’m afraid that it’s not in our budget right now to do it. Instead, we’re creating a “Toolbox” for you that you can use any time in your classroom.

This Toolbox contains three basic lessons plans that can be used with any story, poem, or essay from YARN that you choose. Every few months, we will offer new thematic groupings of model poems, essays, and fiction so you can keep the lesson plans fresh. The lessons can be used in freshman through senior high school classes, and even college undergraduate creative writing courses. We’ve added “Advanced” options for Honors, AP, upper-division, and undergraduate classes. The three plans are:

  1. Reading for and Writing to a Theme;
  2. Thinking About and Experimenting With Technique; and
  3. Playing With Language.

These lessons are designed to be flexible enough for you to use again and again, even in the same classroom–but with different model writing examples, of course. As you use these lessons more and more, you’ll find yourself adding your own elements and swapping parts of one lesson into another. That’s great! Lessons, with their discreet parts, are a little like Grandma’s recipe for muffins – same basic ingredients each time, but new treats (blueberries, nuts, or chocolate chips) thrown in depending on the season.

As always, we hope you’ll share your thoughts and feedback with us and your fellow YARN reader/teachers, especially as you try these for yourselves.

Happy teaching,
The YARN Team


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It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

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YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

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