Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 8½ x 11
978-1-4758-1091-2 • Hardback • July 2014 • $108.00 • (£83.00)
978-1-4758-1092-9 • Paperback • July 2014 • $55.00 • (£42.00)
978-1-4758-1093-6 • eBook • July 2014 • $52.00 • (£38.00)
Lesley Roessing was a high school and middle level teacher for over 20 years before becoming director of the Coastal Savannah Writing Project and instructor in the College of Education of Armstrong State University, Savannah, Georgia. She has written three other books for educators and students: The Write to Read: Response Journals That Increase Comprehension; No More “Us” and “Them”: Classroom Lessons & Activities to Promote Peer Respect; and Comma Quest: The Rules They Followed—The Sentences They Saved.
Introduction: The Why, How, and When of Writing Memoirs
Chapter 1 Defining and Gathering Memories
Chapter 2 From Memories to Memoir
Chapter 3 Reading Memoirs: Reading Like a Writer
Chapter 4 Memoirs about Time and Age
Chapter 5 Memoirs about Objects and Mementos
Chapter 6 Memoirs about Places
Chapter 7 Memoirs about People and Relationships
Chapter 8 Memoirs about Crises and Defining Moments or Events
Chapter 9 Memoirs about Where We Are From and Who We Have Become
Chapter 10 Analyzing Memoir Writing: Learning from Mentor Texts
Chapter 11 Genre Choice: Making the Form Fit the Function
Chapter 12 Memoir Writing Lessons: Taking Rough Drafts to Publication
Conclusion: Memoir and Creative Nonfiction Writing Across Disciplines
Appendix A: Resources for Teachers
Appendix B: Resources for Readers
Appendix C: Resources for Writers
Appendix D: Full Page Reproducible Forms for Memoir Readers and Writers
Sensory Memory Triggers
Memories Chart—page 1
Memories Chart—page 2
Memory Time Graph
Age Pros and Cons Chart
Small Moment Memories Chart—page 1
Small Moment Memories Chart—page 2
Memoir Double-Entry Response Journal—page 1
Memoir Double-Entry Response Journal—page 2
Memoir Triple-Column Response Journal
Crisis Response Journal
As teachers. . . .we must build a scaffold on which children can build a memoir from their memories. For teachers looking for such a scaffold, and who wish to make memoir a central part of their writing instruction, I highly recommend Lesley Roessing's book, Bridging the Gap: Reading Critically and Writing Meaningfully to Get to the Core. . . .The instructional design suggested in the book, reflects Roessing's thorough understanding of best practice and the book provides clear direction and suggested resources for each step in the design. I think classroom teachers would find the design helpful, easy to follow. . . .Teachers could use the book as a guide for a complete unit on memoir, or select key lessons from the book to enhance their own writing units. Busy classroom teachers need practical suggestions for writing instruction that are rooted in sound instructional practice and which promise to be engaging and successful with diverse students. With Bridging the Gap, Lesley Roessing has more than filled this need.
— Russ on Reading
This is an invaluable book for educators of all levels. The book walks the teacher through every step of the memoir reading and writing process. The instructions are clear and are easy to follow. Not only are the individual chapters excellent but all include examples that a novice teacher could use in the classroom, and an extensive list of helpful resources that would assist any class of readers-writers in their endeavors. Bridging The Gap is a "must read" for teachers of upper elementary through high school. I highly recommend it!
— Carol Raymond, retired teacher, grades 4-8
I wrote 'Beastie' [Chapter 11] in the eighth grade, a time when my head was usually half in the newest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. When Mrs. Roessing presented the comics form as a potential route for memoir writing, I knew I had to create one of those little, funny books. Looking back, I think this strip was where I began to generate my voice as a personal writer. The panels were my home, and in one's home, you feel comfortable, going on a tangent about how pitbulls freak you out.
— Kevin Shirley, Temple University
Beautifully-written and captivating start to finish, Bridging the Gap will help all teachers engage their students in the deeply satisfying, intellectually invigorating work of memoir reading and writing. Author and educator Lesley Roesing demonstrates how to build on students’ knowledge and strengths as they deconstruct and reconstruct mentor texts across genres preparing themselves to become more proficient readers and writers of text of all types. Roessing draws on her own wide-ranging classroom experience to tie each suggested book and lesson to reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language standards — giving teachers pivotal practical information that informs as it inspires.
— Lois Bridges, Ph.D.
Sometimes one key opens many doors. This is the case with Lesley Roessing’s new book, Bridging the Gap. In this fascinating, highly-readable text, Roessing shows us how to use memoir to build students’ writing skills and confidence, all the while dramatically sparking motivation. After all, what do most of us love writing about? And what do we know best? Ourselves. This is not a book of simple remember-it-and-write-it activities. On the contrary. Bridging the Gap reveals the infinite complexity of memoir, showing how it forms the perfect bridge between genres, drawing on the best of creative and narrative writing while launching students into the informational world as they research their own pasts. Students simultaneously learn to read like writers, exploring a vast array of memoirs in multiple forms. Rarely does any educational text help us cross so many bridges, taking down artificial distinctions and linking fiction to nonfiction, reading to writing, creative to informational. Rarely are we invited to explore multiple cultures and perspectives while helping students create writing that is not just comprehensible but also moving. And rarely do we see in such exquisite detail how experiencing one genre can offer foundational skills in narrative, informational writing, and argument. As Roessing herself puts it, “Nothing is more powerful than hearing a person’s own voice.” Indeed. This is a book to treasure.
— Vicki Spandel, author, "The 9 Rights of Every Writer and Creating Writers"