For Instructors


Diorama. Poster. Flier. Brochure. Paper Tree. Six word memoirs. Obstacle course. Web pages. Paper mache Lobo. Video. Storyboard.  Maps. Collages. Chapbooks.

These are visually-pleasing art installations that represent and showcase your students’  writing. How so? The paper mache Lobo is covered in student writing. The tree leaves are students’ papers. The collages show students’ lives. The six word memoirs showcase students’ achievements and experiences. The video shows faces of friends, family, and community.

In other words, the art installations facilitate civic literacy through sharing of thoughts, feelings, experiences, and opinions.

Our one message to students: You matter.

Here you’ll find resources for integrating the CSW into your classrooms:

Keeping Your Students Involved: In this .doc file, Allen Baros and Emma Mincks offer several suggestions for keeping your students on task and involved.

Selecting a Genre: In this .doc file, Allen Baros and Emma Mincks offer several genres with complementing art installations ideas. They include, as well, specific details and skills for using the brochure, a 3-D text, and a poster. These examples also include accompanying Writing Today chapters.

Who is invited to the CSW?

This is a public event in which we formally invite administrators across the campus (from the Provost to deans to program directors). We also encourage your students to invite their friends and family. As you prepare your students for the event, remind them that this is their time to shine — to share their work with campus stakeholders and members of the UNM community. Our event offers a dynamic forum for conversations about student writing, literacy, and pedagogical practices.

Want to offer extra credit to your students for attending the CSW?

Summary and Response Short Writing Assignment: In this .doc file, Christine Beagle has created a prompt and rubric asking students to find one art installation, write a brief summary, and then reflect and evaluate that installation. This short writing assignment can easily be tailored to serve as an extra credit assignment.

We’d love for you to add your own ideas in the comment section, or email Genesea to upload one of your own handouts!!

Organizing your class before, during, and after the Celebration

Art installation costs

We encourage you to keep your art installation costs at a minimum. You should encourage your students to use what they have at home–or encourage them to get creative with recyclable items around town. Last year, one class’ installation received much interest because of an old toilet was part of their project.

Organizing your class

Based on last year’s experiences, I offer a few suggestions:

  • You, the instructor, are not required to attend the entire event (from start to finish). Instead, I suggest you appoint the “natural leaders” in your class to serve as non-dictatorial supervisors whenever you cannot be there. For example, if you cannot be present for set-up and tear-down, you should designate set-up and tear-down leaders who you know will be responsible to rally their classmates and get everything organized and returned to the correct place.
  • You will want to figure out which students will be available to set-up, socialize with the visitors, and tear-down. One piece of advice: You will not need many students to participate in the setting-up and tearing down (they’ll just end up sitting around bored), so try to encourage/assign your students to attend the viewing period.
  • If students have class during our the event, find creative ways to ensure their participation prior to the event.
  • You may want to create a roll sheet for your students during the day and tape it to your table or provide a clipboard.
  • Think about which of your students you would like to see sitting at your class’ installation table. We encourage you to utilize your social, talkative, friendly students to have this task, so when visitors come to see your installation, they’ll be met by eager, smiling faces.

Here are a few comments from last year’s student-participants to keep in mind:

  • “The Celebration of Student Writing was fine. The only thing I would of changed is how our teacher went about doing it. To me what we were doing as a class wasn’t very clear and we were rushed for time to work on it. I’m not sure how it was graded for us and it was just a confusing process. The actual set up and show was nice to see though and ran smoothly.”
  • “No one could really explain what there table had to do with writing. One or two table had an idea but needed more guidence.”
  • “i didn’t know what the point of CSW was until I got there.  If we know what we’re getting into before the actual event that would be very helpful.”


The Celebration of Student Writing is a public space where first-year students have a venue to share their voices, share their creativity, and share their literacies. As well, it teaches students about real-life rhetorical situations and publicly values them as thinkers, researchers, and writers.  With this in mind, you can be your students’ biggest cheerleader through the excitement, passion, and interest you show in their work.


Questions? Comments? Ideas? Contact us at!


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