Cultivating creativity: using the eco expressions writing curriculum to develop third through eighth grade students' expressive writing and environmental literacy skills
AbstractExpressive writing provides an outlet for youth to explore their connections to the world through observation and personal discovery. As states continue to develop environmental education standards for K-12 classrooms in the future, expressive writing is a tool that might be used to meet some of these standards. In this research study, educators discussed how expressive writing, specifically in the outdoors, may help students to improve their writing skills and environmental literacy through establishing a sense of place. This qualitative study featured in-depth interviews with a small sample of third-eighth grade teachers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York about their experience with using the Eco Expressions nature writing activities in their classrooms. Eco Expressions is a nature writing curriculum developed by the researcher in 2007. The teachers discussed how they use the nature writing activities in their English Language Arts classrooms and in nature center learning environments. Teachers described their use of the activities as pre-writing skills for expressive writing and sensory description. As determined by this study, the Eco Expressions curriculum can be aligned with the current Common Core national education standards for ELA in K-12.