Kristy Acevedo talks about how writing is like painting, writing with pens and pencils, and the importance of creating personal checklists.
Listen to the soundbite above to hear how Kristy compares writing to painting. Novels don't originate overnight. They take weeks, months, years to complete. Why? Well, because they're like a painting. The creator adds layer after layer to each book in order to weave together an enticing plot and complex characters.
Like the characters in her novels, Kristy understands all creative processes are complex. When she writes a really emotional scene, she shuts down her laptop and grabs a pen or pencil. When she wants students to understand the complexity of a character, she asks her students to use their dominant hand to trace their non-dominant hand. Then, on the inside of the hand, students write what they think the main character thinks about themselves, and on the outside of their hand, they write down what other characters think about the main character. Pens and pencils have powers that keyboards do not.
Another powerful tool Kristy teaches her students about is a personal checklist. Sure, students need to know how to follow a rubric. But, they also know how to create rules and lists for themselves so that they can pursue their personal dreams, whatever those may be.
Kristy thinks all high school libraries should have the following three books:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
One of Kristy's students had never seen herself in a book until she read The Hate U Give. But as soon as she finished Angie Thomas's novel, she wanted another book just like it.
This part of the episode illuminates Rudine Sims Bishop's wise words about how important it is that our classrooms have novels that are mirrors for all students. Here are two other books that act as mirrors for Kristy's students:
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Kristy is generously offering a book to a podcast supporter. Please leave a comment below by November, 11th.
Thanks so much for listening.
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