We hope you've enjoyed some well-earned time to relax and recharge this summer that's sparked new ideas for the upcoming school year. We are enjoying working on some new projects, one of which we'd like your input on. More on that in a moment, but first, some resources to help your planning for the new year:
- Using Informational Text to Teach The Great Gatsby features classroom-ready text sets that support critical, timely conversations around race, immigration, and inequality in connection with Fitzgerald's novel. These readings, accompanied by vocabulary activities and reading and writing/discussion prompts, support student inquiry into questions like "Why Should We Care About Economic Inequality?" and "What Is Tom Worried About--Is Civilization 'Going to Pieces'?" Check out our blog for ideas on how to put present-day issues in dialogue with Gatsby.
- Our volume on To Kill a Mockingbird presents text sets that examine the relationship between Calpurnia and Scout, question whether Atticus is a hero, and help your students to think critically about (and to even "read against") canonical works like Mockingbird.
- If you are teaching A Raisin in the Sun, our second volume will help you underscore the enduring relevance of Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark play with ready-to-use text sets on housing discrimination past and present, the violence surrounding housing desegregation, and more.
- Looking for ways to collaborate with your content-area colleagues around literacy? Check out Connecting Across Disciplines: Collaborating with Informational Text. This volume offers practical strategies for initiating cross-disciplinary collaboration and developing students’ disciplinary literacy skills, as well as a sample unit based on a science article and an excerpt from Lord of the Flies.
While we love finding engaging connections with the canonical works we teach, we are also huge fans of a lot of the young adult fiction that teachers are increasingly incorporating into their curricula. So, we've been working on a new text set centered around one of the most beloved YA novels -- more on that soon! In the meantime, we've been thinking about how/when/why we do assign YA novels in our ELA classes -- especially those that touch upon some of the challenging and sensitive issues that students often face. And we'd love to get your input, so please check out our previous post and/or complete this short survey.
Finally, if you’d like hands-on training in our approach to using informational text, contact us about scheduling a professional development session in your school or district. We offer half-day and full-day workshops for both English and/or content-area teachers. If you are in NJ, we hope to see you at NJCTE in September and please join us at NJEA in November. Otherwise, we hope to see you at NCTE in Baltimore!
We hope our resources help you create rewarding learning experiences for you and your students. If you use any of our materials, please send us your feedback. We would also greatly appreciate it if you would post a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Thank you again for your interest -- and everything you do for your students!