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[FALL23] Teaching Report and Explanation Writing (Hodgson-Drysdale)

Ended Nov 8, 2023

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Full course description

EDUC 7548 - Teaching Report and Explanation Writing to K-8 Students

If you are a BC student taking this course for credit, you must register via Eagle Apps. The course number is EDUC7548.

(15 PDPs and 1 ALC credit)

Using a genre-based pedagogy informed by systemic functional linguistics, participants will learn what and how to teach reports and explanations (general and scientific) in the context of social studies and/or science using a genre-based pedagogy informed by systemic functional linguistics.

In this project-based course, groups of participants will collaborate to develop a writing unit in a genre appropriate for their grade level, and participants will learn and practice features of the genres demanded in elementary and middle schools. This course places a focus on language development, and this unique approach will support teachers in how to guide students to writing that builds confidence and success..

Course Schedule, Time Commitment and Activities (October 3rd - 31st , 2023)

  • Approximately 2 hours engaging in weekly modules that include lectures, interviews and looking at student work. 

  • Weekly 1 hour live sessions every Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30PM (ET)

  • Readings and assignments completed on a weekly basis. 

There will be a variety of activities to facilitate acquiring the content of the course such as short lectures, readings and discussions. In addition, teachers will share how they implemented the unit with videos applying the approach in their classrooms, work with mentor texts and student work and affinity groups collaborations toward creating genre units. During live sessions students will have the opportunity to share experiences, answer questions, and clarify challenges.

Registration and Payment

1. Please enroll via the "$400 Enroll" button (above) if:

  • You are paying for an individual enrollment via credit card
  • You have paid for this course some other way and been given a promo code

Please note that in order to register you will be asked to create an account for Boston College with a username and password if you do not already have one. 

2. Confirm and accept registration via email from which you will receive once you’ve registered (email will be sent to the address you used to create account).


Purchase Order payments are possible. Please contact the Professional & Continuing Education team at

Fees and Policies:

Refunds will only be granted up until the start of the course. No refunds will be granted for registration or technical errors on the participant's part (such as incorrect name/email, login failure, etc.).

Additional offerings from the Lynch School Professional & Continuing Education Office can be found on our website

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. If you need to request an accommodation or ask a question about accessibility, please contact

Course Facilitator

Dr. Tracy Hodgson-Drysdale has taught in various capacities over a twenty-year period, including five years working as an elementary generalist, six as a reading specialist, and thirteen as an instructor teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, bilingualism, and systemic functional linguistics (SFL). She has worked with Dr. Maria Estela Brisk since 2008 as her teaching assistant and research assistant, and they also presented at conferences and collaborated on articles. 

Course Designer

Maria Estela Brisk is a Professor of Education at the Teacher Education, Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction Department, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.  She received her Ph. D. in linguistics and bilingual education at the University of New Mexico in 1972. Her research and teacher-training interests include elementary students’ writing development, bilingual education, bilingual language and literacy acquisition, methods of teaching literacy, and preparation of mainstream teachers to work with bilingual learners.  She is the author of numerous articles and books.

For the past 13 years Dr. Brisk has worked closely with K-8 schools to develop a genre-based writing program for their schools, preparing teachers and researching children’s writing development. Her book Engaging Students in Academic Literacies: Genre-based Pedagogy for K-5 Classrooms features the approach to teaching writing that emerged from the work in schools.  The approach has been helpful for all students including bilingual learners.

Professor Brisk, native of Argentina, is a fluent speaker of Spanish.