Former Wonder Lead Ambassador

Paul W. Hankins

Joined 5 years ago

Paul W. Hankins is an English Language Arts teacher at the secondary level. A firm believer in inquiry-based strategies and approaches, Hankins believes in most cases that teachers have "questions," but students have "wonders." Meeting in the middle addresses the standards while embracing the natural wonder and curiosity our students bring into the room. Hankins is a member of multiple state level professional groups, including Hoosier Family of Readers, The Indiana Reading Association, AISLE/ILF, and The National Writing Project at Indiana University Southeast. Hankins is a member of the National Writing Project, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Assembly on Adolescent Literature to the National Council of Teachers of English, and is a second-year ambassador with The Jossey-Bass Teacher Ambassador Program. Hankins serves or has served on multiple reading/literature juries to include the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (ALAN), the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children's Poetry Award (2016), and the Eliot Rosewater Awards (Indiana).

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Apr 7, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Poem 7: #1663: "How Sweet is Honeysuckle?

Here is a "Spine Poem" inspired by Wonder #1663, "How Sweet is Honeysuckle?"This wonder inspired me to wonder how sweet it is that we have a month to ...


Apr 6, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Poem 6: 1661: "Who Was the First Emperor of China?"

Today's wonder has me thinking about how a young writer could use a form of poetry to answer a question. There is an answer to the question posed by ...


Apr 5, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Poem 5: #1661: "What is Fertilizer?"

As you can tell from the cover picture, this wonder really had me thinking. I jokingly tweeted during the Wonder Chat on Monday night that I would ...


Apr 4, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Poem 4: Wonder #641: "What Makes Glitter Sparkle?"

I try to be careful when I use a term like "simple verse" when referencing children's poetry, but one of the elements of children's poetry that I ...


Apr 3, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Poem 3: Wonder #779"Why Do Some People Chase Storms?"

I have to post quickly today as our family is heading for Cincinnati for an afternoon of theater and shopping (our last day of Spring Break here in ...


Apr 2, 2016

Wonder Poem 2/30: "Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side?"

Today is Day 2 of the "Wallow in Wonder" Poetry Project with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. I hope that you following her poems that she is writing at The ...


Apr 1, 2016

Wonder Poetry 1:30

This month, Amy Ludwig VanDerwarer (Forest Has a Song, Every Day Birds) will be drafting poems inspired by the previous day's "wonder."I'll be ...


Mar 1, 2016

Historical Perspective and First-Hand Accounts

When I attended nErDcamp last summer in Parma, Michigan, I got to see my friend and nationally-recognized hero/ambassador for books, John Schumaker ...


Apr 12, 2021

A Purging of Pity and Fear by Marion Dane Bauer

It was a small town and an even smaller library.  The children’s section formed an open cube, perhaps six feet on each side.  But the small size ...

Apr 11, 2021

How to Write A Great Children’s Book by Elisha Cooper

10. Be Forgetful. Forget your bad ideas and put them in a box and put that box under your bed. Ten years ago I had an idea for a children’s book ...

Apr 10, 2021

Reading the Extreme: 10 Tips for Amping Up your Reading Game! by Ann McCallum Staats

Hey, you there! I dare you. Yes, you. I dare you to become an extreme reader. And no, I’m not talking about laminating a book to bring it ...

Apr 7, 2021

On Connections by E.B. Vickers and Jenn Bishop

The Nerdy Book Club is a community built on connections—between educators, authors, and especially readers. I was lucky enough to form a Nerdy ...

Apr 6, 2021

I Was Never Matilda by Louie Stowell

When you’re a writer, people expect you to love reading. For me, they’re partly right. I love stories and ideas. I love wandering in a made-up ...

Apr 5, 2021

What I Stole to Write War and Mille McGonigle by Karen Cushman

For my new book, War and Millie McGonigle, I committed grand theft. Fortunately, the victim is my husband and my ill-gotten goods are his memories of ...

Apr 3, 2021

Ten Books that Encourage Teens to Speak Up and Speak Out by Kasey Short

Middle and high school students have strong sense of justice, innovative ideas, and the potential to make a significant impact on their communities. ...

Apr 1, 2021

The Joining of the Inner and Outer Worlds by Mark Karlins

On a cold New Mexico night I walked down the driveway, the sky huge with winter stars. At the mailbox I pulled out an oversized envelope, my ...

Mar 30, 2021


Writers write stories.  Writers write characters.  What we don’t write are themes.  But our themes always find us.  After we’ve been writing ...