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Grades 6–8
60 minutes
Informational, Media
Videos

Why This Story Matters with Soledad O’Brien

by 826 National

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist, and founder of Soledad O’Brien Productions, a media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories on a range of social issues. She anchors and produces Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, a political magazine program syndicated in 95% of the country for Hearst and is a correspondent for HBO Real Sports.

What Your Students Will Produce

See more Videos at this level

Grades 6–8
Videos
Side Character Stories with Emily Harding

by Emily Harding

Narrative

Author and TV producer, Emily Harding shows side characters some love in this writing prompt.

Grades 4–8
Videos
Inspiration in the Everyday with Charlotte Yeung

by Charlotte Yeung

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative
Persuasive
Poetry

Midwest Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador, Charlotte Yeung, shares one of her favorite brainstorming strategies for creating a new piece.

Grades 4–6
Videos
Silly Scenes with Sean Thomason

by 826 National

Media
Narrative

In this lesson, you will create a character and show how a character would respond in a specific situation by writing dialogue, resulting in a silly scene.

Grades 6–12
Videos
Battling the Page with Johan Bergenas

by 826 National

Informational
Narrative
Persuasive
Poetry

In this lesson, you will build your confidence as a writer by battling the page on a consistent basis.

Grade 7
Videos
Day & Night: Rhyme Schemes

by 826 National, featuring Eloise Combs, Grade 3, Michigan

Poetry

Not all poems have to rhyme, but when they do, they generally use “rhyme scheme.” In this lesson, students will write a poem with a unique sound and rhyme scheme.

Grades 6–12
Videos
Writing & Mental Health with Arielle Johnson (AJ)

by 826 National

Memoir

In this lesson, you will learn a strategy for writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly.

Grade 8
Videos
Paper Doll: Concrete Poems

by 826 National, featuring Soeun Lee, Grade 8, NJ

Poetry

In this lesson, you will create poems that look completely different from poems you have written before!

Grades 6–12
Videos
Reflections on Writing from Jason Reynolds

by Jason Reynolds

Memoir
Narrative
Poetry

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and NYT Bestselling Author, Jason Reynolds, joined 826 students for a conversation on his video project, "For Every One."

Grades 6–8
Videos
Story Shapes with Tom Perrotta

by 826 National

Narrative

Author Tom Perrotta reads "Peter, Who Went on the Best Adventure Ever." In this lesson, you will learn about 3 shapes that will help the events of your story unfold naturally.

Grades 6–8
Videos
Pickup Lines Cheesier Than Cheddar with Carter Higgins

by 826 National

Narrative
Poetry

Author Carter Higgins reads "Pickup Lines Cheesier Than Cheddar," a piece written by fifth-grader Uma (826NYC).

Grades 6–8
Videos
Character Choices

by Sarah Richman, 826DC

Narrative

Writer and staffer at 826DC, Sarah Richman, shares an original writing prompt that will help you get aquainted with your new characters.

Grades 3–6
Videos
Honey Bee: Lessons in Fables

by 826 National, featuring Isaac Reynolds, Grade 6

Narrative

What’s the moral of the story? In this lesson, students practice identifying and summarizing a moral in a fable written by a sixth grader.

Grades 3–12
Videos
Book Scavenger Hunt Poetry with Amanda Gorman

by Amanda Gorman

Poetry

Presidential Inaugural Poet, activist, and bestselling author Amanda Gorman shares one of her favorite techniques for starting a poem or getting over writers' block.

Grades 6–12
Videos
Meaning from Shape

by Cristeta Boarini, 826 MSP

Poetry

Journalist and 826 MSP staffer, Cristeta Boarini, shares a poetry prompt that walks students through using shapes to convey meaning.

Grades 8–10
Videos
1947: Stories as Records

by 826 National, featuring Priyanna Kumar Singhania, Grade 8

Narrative
Poetry

In this lesson, you will write down a story that’s been passed down to you, using precise words and phrases and sensory language, to convey a vivid picture of the event.

Grades 2–12
Videos
Hear Me Out with Javier Zamora

by Javier Zamora, 826 Valenica alumni and New York Times bestselling author

Memoir
Narrative
Persuasive
Poetry

Author Javier Zamora was an undocumented immigrant when he was a student. Now, he invites you to raise your voice and write to the next President of the United States.

Grades 6–8
Videos
The Egg Dozen Dilemma: What’s the Central Idea?

by 826 National, featuring Kaiden Griggs, Grade 6

Informational
Media

In this lesson, students will identify the main idea and supporting details of an informational text and summarize this idea objectively.

Grades 5–8
Videos
Climactic Cliffhangers with Mac Barnett

by Mac Barnett

Narrative

Mac Barnett, a New York Times-bestselling author of stories for children, illustrates how to end a story...or not.

Grades 4–6
Videos
Superhero-O-Matic with Lisa Brown

by 826 National

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

Author and illustrator Lisa Brown reads "Owl Girl. In this lesson, you will write a superhero story that introduces your character and establishes the context for your reader.

Grades 4–8
Videos
Interviewing Inanimate Objects with Daniel Handler

by Daniel Handler

Narrative

Author Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, shows there are no limits to imagination with this interviewing activity.

Grades 6–8
Videos
How Did You Get There?

by Amanda Dettmann, 826NYC

Narrative

Poet and teaching artist with 826NYC, Amanda Dettmann, shares a simple and fun writing prompt that asks the question, "How Did You Get There?"