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Watching the Fire from Across the River

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This post was originally published on the HS Bits Blog, which was active from 2008-2013.

This very interesting blog post from Clay Burell over at is about some of the ways in which the Chinese view writing. As he points out, it's worth sharing the inspiring descriptions of different types of writing with your students when they're tired of hearing about "expository," "persuasive," or "analytical" essays. Perhaps it's worth ten minutes or so to try to write a piece that evokes "dragonflies skimming" or "painting a dragon and dotting its eyes" — a provocative challenge in style!

As AP® test season draws near, Burell's comments about re-visioning writing remind us that we're not just prepping for a test but teaching our students the skill and art of writing — and that shouldn't be confined to our limited, test-bound definitions of essays.

®AP is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.