Dakota Writing Project focuses on teaching, learning

Dakota Writing Project focuses on teaching, learning Participants at the Dakota Writing Project, which is being held on the campus of The University of South Dakota June 14 to July 1, will learn that technology can enhance writing and that individual style remains an important facet of composing written pieces.

During the institute participants will incorporate technology into writing, share unique lesson plans with other writers, and get hands-on work with writing strategies. One of 160 sites of the National Writing Project (NWP), the Dakota Writing Project focuses on the importance of teaching and learning by both the teacher and the student in the classroom.

In addition to individual writing activities, participants will also meet the husband and wife writing team of Freya Manfred and Tom Pope, whose visit to campus is sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council. Both will teach a writing workshop for institute participants and will sign copies of their works at a book signing at USD Book and Supply.

USD English Professor Nancy Zuercher, who facilitates the Dakota Writing Project with USD English instructor Michelle Rogge Gannon, said institutes like this one at USD are important to the future of writing in the classroom.

"It (the institute) is more than a class, because the learning continues long after the workshop has ended. Teachers from the workshop become a network for teaching," said Zuercher, noting writers will be encouraged to examine their own writing style. "Writing is an essential skill for teachers. In order for a teacher to successfully teach writing, that person has to be able to write himself or herself," she said.

Participants in this summer's institute include: Sue Morrel, Bon Homme High School at Tyndall; Heather Gayken, Brandon Middle School; Catherine Wahl Carlson, Lowell Elementary School in Sioux Falls; John Huber, Nancy Lorenz and Lim Moos, Parkston Elementary School; Valerie J. Parsley, Rutland Public School; Cindy Cummins, Dorothy Nelson, Denise Cameron Stalheim, Sioux Falls Memorial Middle School; Jason Lueth and Michael Fitzgerald, Sioux Falls Washington High School; Kriss Ibis and Lela Kay Lambert, Sioux Falls Whittier Middle School; Laurie Girard, Vermillion High School; Diane M. Reinke and Ann Haggerty, Vermillion Middle School; and Cyndy DeMers, Winner High School.

For more information contact: Professor Nancy Zuercher, USD English Department, (605) 677-5229.

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