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Affiliated with the National Writing Project and sponsored by the University of South Carolina Aiken and the Aiken County Public School District, the Aiken Writing Project supports teachers as they incorporate writing and learning in the classroom.



The Aiken Writing Project is a National Writing Project (NWP) site. NWP sites focus on the core mission of improving the teaching of writing and improving the use of writing across the disciplines by offering high-quality professional development programs for educators in their service areas, at all grade levels, K–16 and across the curriculum. NWP sites share a national program model that includes :

  • developing a leadership cadre of local teachers who have participated in invitational summer institutes in the teaching of writing
  • delivering customized inservice programs for local schools and institutions
  • providing continuing education and research opportunities for teachers


CE-MIST/Aiken Writing Project Traveling Interdisciplinary Literacy Trunks (TILTS)

Traveling Interdisciplinary Literacy Trunks (TILTs) are teacher-designed, interdisciplinary units of study that are aligned with academic standards from multiple content areas with an emphasis on writing across the curriculum. Teachers compete annually to develop grade-level units and purchase instructional materials with a budget of $800 per trunk. The trunks are funded through the Aiken Sunrise Rotary Club and the Center of Excellence in Middle-level, Interdisciplinary Strategies for Teaching (CE-MIST).

  1. Explore our Free Resources for Teachers: Online TILT Unit Plans
  2. Ask your grade level team to trade content area standards. Use our Brainstorming Graphic Organizer to generate ideas for topics that could connect your standards.
  3. Look at three CE-MIST TILT templates:
    a) CE-MIST Unit Plan Template (or use TILT Grant Application form)
    b) CE-MIST Daily Lesson Plans Template
    c) CE-MIST Implementation Guide Template
  4. Take a virtual shopping trip to build your unit's text set (children's literature, films, maps, websites, etc.). If you plan to purchase materials, you may find this Budget Planning & Purchase Order Form helpful.
  5. Draft 3 Essential Questions for your unit.
  6. Look at our Writing Across the Curriculum Teaching Strategies list. How might you engage your students in writing across the curriculum? How could you use pre-writing strategies?
  7. Think about the instructional strategies you might use. You might get ideas from our list of Suggested Instructional Strategies.
  8. How will you address modalities of learning and differentiating instruction? How will you assess your students?
  9. Look at all 10 elements of our CE-MIST Unit Plan Rubric.
  10. If you would like to share your completed unit with us, please send it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and we will add it to our website.

TILTs Available for Check-Out through the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center include Unit Guides, Lesson Plans, Implementation Guides, and Materials List.

See list of available TILTs

For more information about reserving a trunk for your classroom, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (803) 641-3683.

Contact Aiken Writing Project