I haven’t posted a Mentor Text post in a while, due to most of my reading being dense research articles. I remind my readers that research articles are not the type of writing you want students or teachers, or most normal adults, to use as models of great, intriguing writing. However, I have also been reading a lot of tweets lately.
A study of how tweets are written would be beneficial for anyone new to twitter. 14o characters does not provide you a lot of space in which to share a powerful message. But there are ways it can be done.
Take this tweet for example:
Be mindful of the stories you tell yourself-Anytime you give yourself an EXCUSE not to do what you need to do-stuck is the result#FixMyLife
— Iyanla Vanzant (@IyanlaVanzant) May 18, 2014
This person, who I had never heard of before she was retweeted by someone I follow, has a show on the OWN network called “Fix My Life”. Notice how she turned her show title into a hashtag (that is a phrase following the # sign) at the end of her tweet. Her use of capitalization calls attention to her point. You can also tell that she was running out of space because there are no excess spaces after punctuation!
Here is another tweet:
— Hugh McDonald (@hughtheteacher) April 3, 2014
What I like about this tweet is how much information is crammed into such a tiny space. First there is the author’s opinion, including CAPS for emphasis (and FYI, growth mindset was a trigger for me to read this one closely!). Then he gives credit to @RCNowellVP who obviously shared the original picture (which didn’t show up when I embedded the tweet above, but which is seen when you are viewing this directly on twitter). Next the author adds in four hashtags to clue in others he feels might find this information useful. Finally, the picture is attached for all to see.
And here is a more personal tweet in response to one of my own:
@DirectorAmy 🙂 Made my day! Happy discussing to all!
— Elena Aguilar (@artofcoaching1) May 13, 2014
Elena Aguilar is the author of The Art of Coaching, a book I have been using as a professional resource with the coaches with whom I work. Whenever we have a twitter chat about our reading, I reference her at least once. It is still a thrill when she responds. But to read her genuine, authentic response above, with no ego or agenda, made my day right back. 😉
Tweets can include:
- links to blogs, articles, references, sources
- lots of meaning
- lots of fluff
What kinds of tweets do you enjoy reading? Please find me on Twitter (@AmyLIllingworth) so we can discuss mentor tweets more!
Does your classroom, school, or district have a Twitter account?
How do you teach students and teachers about valuable Twitter messages?