In 1974, I vowed to myself to take the mystery of our learning to write. I intended to develop a system in which every step is concrete.

I later learned (if professional literature is to be believed) that it has never been done before in the history of teaching writing.

Here is the system:

It combines Western and indigenous thinking

It assumes no natural ability

It applies to any age, ability, or interest

Some Results

Gambell, Alaska.  Whaling/Walrus hunting village on island in the Bering Sea

No books

No computers

Little world knowledge

Low reading and writing skills

39 of the 41 students were ESL

They won two national championships Future Problem Solving. At the time it was considered the most difficult academic competition in the nation.  Defeated schools for the gifted. Only Native American high school team ever to win a national championship in academics.

Also won + runner up in international fiction writing competition.

One of the stories was published in a professional anthology. It was the only story by a nonprofessional in the book. The student had written it in two hours.

Elim, Alaska.  21-student school.

Shattered the national scoring record in Future Problem Solving

Fairbanks, Alaska

Basis of RAHI, a college prep for Alaska Native students from rural villages.

Graduates from Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, Notre Dame, Stanford, Berkeley, West Point, Annapolis, the Air Force Academy, to name a few places.

Rural Alaska

College students won state and international fiction-writing  awards.

Napoleon, Ohio

Former Marine used the method to win Mrs. Galaxy

Starting with Narrative

We start with narrative—

  • Foundation of communications
  • Establishes the basic structure of the hyperthesis
  • Establishes the overall pattern of SONY
    • Summary
    • Old
    • New
    • Why