An interesting take on teaching good writing - using very short essays: Teaching to the Text Message.
I'm thinking about doing this oil-on-the-paper experiment to explain about birds staying dry when they're on the water. Also, it just sounds cool. They said they couldn't stick their fingers through wet paper if it had oil on it. I want to try!
A pair of very good questions from the Representative from Texas:
"We have to remember, a no fly zone is an act of war. Now what moral right do we have to participate in war activity against Libya?" AND
What would we do if someone slapped our United States with a no-fly zone and sanctions, and then started bombing to enforce it?
Additionally, if we ARE going to go to war, it's Congress's job to decide, NOT the president's. He's commander once we decide to go to war, but the decision is not his to make.
Also, here is Susan Wise Bauer doing a dictation with her 13yo son. While it's not an exciting pair of videos (you spend a lot of time watching him write), I found it very instructive as to what dictation actually looks like. I didn't expect that there would be so much grammar instruction in the process. And she basically had him do the problem orally before wrote it, which surprised me because I'd conceived dictation as a primarilly written sort of thing. And that, altogether, is very interesting.
For further reading on why this matters, try the message boards here first and then here.