Teaching Literacy Through Creative Writing

"Go in the back door when teaching writing," is the advice Jane Ellen Ibur gives teachers in the opening of LIFT's Teaching Literacy through Creative Writing manual. "Let confidence build through constant encouragement of effort, improvement, constantly pointing out the good, the progress. Then point out the mechanics."

The manual was developed with an accompanying ten-minute video tape demonstrating Ibur's techniques. Together, the two products will help teachers all over the state reproduce the successful results Ibur has experienced with low-income, low-literate parents in family literacy programs in St. Louis.

The project began at LIFT's family literacy program at Cochran Academy at the Cochran Gardens Tenant Management Corporation with funding from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis and the Monsanto Company. Ibur coaches the students to express themselves through writing, and then works one-on-one with the adult students to edit and sharpen their thoughts on paper.

Ibur is an established poet, writer, and free-lance creative writing instructor with a Lifetime Teaching Certificate in Secondary English.


Format for Classes

First Writings




Example of Method


Measuring Improvement



Suggested Reading List


Document Download


Download Details

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