Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 3

Recently I had the opportunity to hear Gretchen Bernabei speak on a Saturday morning.  As I was sitting with a fabulous group of educators, we developed a kernel essay.  We started with stating a problem and writing our solution. Gretchen then asked us a series of questions and we wrote our response.  The questions were:
1.  What do you together as a table believe about your topic.
2.  What is the problem?
3.  How do you know there is a problem?
4.  What unsuccessful solutions have been tried?
5.  What is our solution in one sentence?

Here was our response:

We want the people we love to be accessible to us.  Texas is huge and traffic delays the time apart even more.  Not being with our loved ones causes hardships on relationships.  Those most special to us are no longer as accessible as they once were and there is a real hole in our hearts.  We have tried flying, not leaving for the visit during rush traffic times, meeting half way, connecting through technology, but these solutions have not worked.  We want the state of Texas to build affordable bullet trains across the major cities in Texas to help bring our loved ones close.

Could this structure be used to help our most struggling writers?  What are your thoughts?


  1. I am a huge fan of Gretchen Bernabei, and I love her 11-minute power-write exercise. I thoroughly enjoyed coauthoring this kernel essay with you, and I think the structure is perfect for persuasive writing. I think the challenge that comes with using her various text structures is making sure our students can remember them. Sometimes choice helps. And sometimes too much choice hinders. Or maybe teachers are just control freaks. :)

    I really like the simplicity of her text structures, and I wholeheartedly agree we need a bullet train in Texas!

  2. I need to make it a point to go see her again! It has been over 10 years since I have seen her and Barry.

    I was thinking how great it would be if I could just teach and enjoy my children today. This exercise makes me think about doing just that!