Learning tools that inspire hearts and nourish minds.

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What if we could inspire our students
to believe and do the impossible?

Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts is a teacher who values imagination

“I daresay you haven't had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Like the Queen of Hearts, our job, as educators is to nourish, inspire, and encourage academic excellence by providing the conditions in which a child's imagination will thrive.

Children who embrace the work of curiosity are able to imagine and unearth possibility. These students enjoy the pursuit of knowledge, and ultimately, gain wisdom.

Since 2000 we have been providing materials that inspire delight in the art of learning. Blackbird & Company products have been developed to provide the intellectual scaffolding that will enable your students to move beyond reading and writing toward reading for purpose and writing for real.

We believe the art of learning is much more than amassing knowledge. We respect that children are endowed with their own unique creative genius and we are dedicated to the work of discovering, protecting and promoting the unique potential of each child. Our Discovery Method provides the structured mentorship that leads to the development of lifelong learning.

Discovery Guides

Integrated Literature and Writing

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Our selection of classic and contemporary literature inspires readers and writers. We understand that it is easy for the study of a piece of literature to overshadow the story itself. With this in mind, our goal is to lead the reader through each piece of literature in a way that plumbs its depths while keeping its intrinsic value intact.

Create a language arts tradition, where children are taught:

  • not only to remember what is read, but to to discern deeper meaning
  • not only to decode words, but to appreciate specificity
  • not only to examine story structure, but glean the unfolding of themes
  • not only to respond to a story in writing, but craft an idea that matters
  • not only to see a story's message, but to explore it with others

Composition and Creative Writing

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Great writing begins with an idea crafted to words on a page by a courageous writer. The most important thing we can do when it comes to teaching a child to write is to value their imagination and to teach them to do the same. Teaching students to write for real begins when we teach them to believe that their ideas are important enough to do the work of shaping words on a page. Teach your students to become storytellers. Regardless of domain—fiction to non-fiction—great writing tells a story. Writing is a wonderfully tedious process. Blackbird & Company Writing Discovery Guides provide writing opportunities that teach the cardinal rule of real writing: Imagination first. After all, imagination is the seat of original ideas. When students discover that their imagination is valuable and relevant, they will work diligently to refine their voice.

Purpose helps writers develop the habits of being that motivate them to move through the writing process:

  • Come up with an idea
  • Write your idea
  • Re-read and refine your idea
  • Have someone else re-read and refine your idea
  • Polish your words on the page

Moving from reading and recognizing ideas, to engaging in personal expression through writing, develops an awareness of the world at large. When students are encouraged to engage in the process of writing, they will discover the power of words. Great writing is work connected to the soul. Great writing brings shape to imagination. Great writing evokes, engages, and inspires human curiosity. Students who engage in the process of real writing will develop confidence in their voice, strengthen their ability to communicate new ideas, and become keen observers of their world. And those are words on the page that are worth reading.

Independent Research

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Our Research Discovery Guides will inspire your students to engage in meaningful research activities over time. As students are encouraged to independently investigate, they will gain a greater depth of understanding, and a broader knowledge base.

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