A video series to encourage and support children as writers

Presented by Regie Routman and Gail Boushey

I believe most of us educators want to do something to make a positive difference for students and their families. Inequity issues have distressed me for all the decades I’ve been teaching and coaching. Almost all of that work has been in high poverty schools where students are typically underserved. But these times are different; there is even more urgency, worry, anxiety, fear, and trauma. We all feel it. But what to do to be of service?

Gail Boushey and I met in person about four years ago and took an immediate liking to each other, which developed into a warm, deep friendship and bond. Our work together started when I wrote a Tip of the Week for her about a project I was working on to give blank notebooks to students in Seattle’s neediest schools, an easy and equitable writing idea to help bridge the digital divide. From there, it was a natural progression for us to team up to show you via video how teachers and families might use writing—in this case poetry writing—as a positive and meaningful way to go on learning.

There are six videos in the sequence. Our hope is that you see writing possibilities for yourself, your students, and your children and that you feel supported as writers and teachers of writing. May your efforts lead to success, enjoyment, and even some calm in your classroom.


Planning for Writing

VIDEO 1 OF 6: 9m 49s

Regie Writing Her Poem

VIDEO 2 OF 6: 15m 10s

Analyzing the Poem

VIDEO 3 OF 6: 15m 58s

Conferring With a Writer

VIDEO 4 OF 6: 19m 05s


VIDEO 5 OF 6: 14m 19s

Get to Know Gail and Regie

VIDEO 6 OF 6: 9m 09s


  • A Notebook for You by Regie Routman. April 5, 2020. Visit website.
  • 10 Actions That Put Student Writers First. August 5, 2020. MiddleWeb: All About the Middle Grades. Visit website.
  • Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for All Learners by Regie Routman. 2018. Stenhouse Publishers. See chapter 6, “Teaching Writers”, pages 227-252. Visit website.
  • Writing Essentials: Raising Expectations and Results While Simplifying Teaching by Regie Routman, 2005. Heinemann. See detailed, easy-to-apply lesson plan, “Heart Poems”, pages 305-315, for teaching students to write free verse poems. See chapter 9, “Conference with Students,” pages 205-237.” Visit website.
  • Kids Poems: Teaching Kids to Love Poetry Writing by Regie Routman. 2000. Series: Kindergarten, grade 1, grades 2-3, and grades 3-4. Scholastic. Available as e-books, discounted through end of May 2020 to $5.00 a book when you order through Scholastic. Visit website.
  • Transforming Our Teaching Through Reading-Writing Connections by Regie Routman. Online version, 2015. Heinemann. Professional learning, video-based literacy series. See session 9. “Writers Become Readers Through Daily Writing.” See session 11, “Reading and Writing Poetry.” Visit website.
  • The CAFE Book: Engaging ALL Students in Daily Literacy Assessment and Instruction, Expanded Second Edition by Gail Boushey with Allison Behne. 2020. Stenhouse Publishers. Visit website.
  • Every Day is a Reading Day by Gail Boushey, 2020 A video series to teach your child how to read by themselves at home. Visit webpage.

Regie Routman is a longtime educator who works side by side with teachers and administrators in underperforming schools and districts to increase and sustain reading and writing achievement and joy in learning for all students. She is the author of many books and resources, most recently Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for All Learners (Stenhouse, 2018). She can be contacted on www.regieroutman.org and on Twitter @regieroutman and Facebook @regieroutman.

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