Rather than writing the book as a Q and A or as chapters covering the writing process, MacLachlan explores the writing lives of five fictional children: Lucy, Henry, Evie, Russell, and May. Each child has a life event or struggle that serves as an inspiration for writing.
Word After Word After Word can be used by classroom teachers throughout the school year. At the beginning, it can be used during writing workshop to answer three essential questions:
While reading the book aloud, I would ask students to analyze each character's life and predict how each character would answer the three essential questions. What literal facts lead them to make those inferences?
Later in the year, I plan to use parts of the books within the poetry unit. Reminding students of the five main characters, students can blindly match the character to the poems he or she wrote. How did each character use words to communicate ideas? How did stories in prose turn into poetry? How do the poems sound when read aloud? What word pictures come to mind?
Please share other ideas you have for working with this book.