For the Love of Lit

October 17, 2018
7:00pm Eastern Time
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Teachers! Join as we bring the Great American Read, and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) founder Chris Baty, direct to you.

Designed by educators, this virtual professional learning experience will introduce a number of teaching models and strategies to enhance your practice. How can you inspire your students to be passionate writers and engaged readers? We’ll explore how mentor texts from The Great American Read, combined with the NaNoWriMo challenge, can empower students of all ages to read and write with enthusiasm and depth. You’ll get direct insight from students, and be able to chat live with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty.

This event is part one of a four-part series especially for English Language Arts teachers, and was created FOR educators BY educators. With an emphasis on fun, engaging, accessible, and free tools for classrooms, this series will highlight key themes including narrative writing, the hero’s journey, and more. PBS will provide a certificate of attendance for each one hour virtual professional learning event.

Led by PBS All Star Teachers Laura Bradley, and Heather Gauck, this session highlights exciting resources and models that can immediately be implemented in the classroom.

Read more about the full series here:

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Video Descriptions


Who Says 8th Graders Can't Write a Novel in 30 Days?

Laura Bradley’s eighth-grade students at Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, California, describe tackling the challenge of National Novel Writing Month: To write, in the course of the 30 days of November, a whole novel. Learn more: Learn more about the Young Writers Program of National Novel Writing Month here: Watch a video of teacher Laura Bradley describing the NaNoWriMo experience:

The Hero's Journey 1


60 minutes


  • Naima

  • Storm Montunnas

  • Amy

  • Laila Hirschfeld


  • Laura Bradley

    Laura Bradley has been teaching middle school English in Sonoma County, California since 1988. Her 8th graders have participated in NaNoWriMo since 2011, and their enthusiastic response to it has inspired her to present workshops on and advocate for every student experiencing the thrill of writing a novel in a month. Laura holds an M.A. in Educational Technology, and is a PBS Digital Innovator All-Star, Google Certified Innovator/Educator, National Board Certified Teacher, Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultant, and first place winner of the Henry Ford Teacher Innovator Award.

  • Heather Gauck

    Heather Gauck, a special education teacher has taught for Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than two decades. She recently became National Board Certified as a Exceptional Needs Specialist. She is the organizer and leader for this team of 8 educators statewide that created Innovation Classroom. This team is being funded by Mark Zuckerberg's StartUp Foundation on integrating technology into the classroom. Most recently she was picked as a Teacher Champion Fellow to work with education policy. She is one of twenty-four teachers who sit on the Michigan Teacher Leadership Council. She was also one of 9 finalists for the United States Department of Education Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellowship. She is passionate about giving a voice to the usual voiceless students who struggle daily with school. Technology that is integrated appropriately can open up a world of support, excitement and higher standards for all learners and educators in classrooms worldwide.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.