Do graphic novels get to stand on their own, or should they be paired with additional texts? ELA teacher Jason DeHart explores that question and concludes (no surprise) that the answer is both. See his suggestions for paired titles that will appeal to middle grades readers.
Kasey Short shows how nontraditional fantasy books can be used to address difficult topics, provide real world commentary, counter stereotypes, allow students to see kids that look like them as heroes, and inspire new ways of thinking and imagining. Lots of titles included!
Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, it’s essential to teach students about the lives lost, the heroes who helped, and the Islamophobia that followed. To examine 9/11’s legacy and impact, middle grades teacher Kasey Short recommends key online resources and four YA novels.
Sunny Nwazue discovers she is a witch in Nnedi Okorafor’s novel about how a girl raised amid Nigerian-American culture experiences tween life in Nigeria. Dina Strasser recommends the book for its overt tackling of racism, ableism, and sexism as well as its narrative magic.
Similar to the benefits of class read-alouds and independent reading, podcasts can be incorporated as a way to increase students’ understanding of stories and information, with kids often making “text to self” connections. Kathie Palmieri includes sources and favorites.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, middle grades teacher Kasey Short offers a list of nonfiction and fiction books representing a wide range of girl’s and women’s voices and experiences. All students benefit from reading about smart, brave women who make positive impacts.
Examining the human impact of climate change through texts allows students to connect climate science to the human cost of climate change, develop empathy for communities impacted by climate change, and discover more about climate justice, writes ELA teacher Kasey Short.
Learning to read hard nonfiction is a life skill, says principal Rita Platt. It allows students to dive deep into content, enriches vocabulary, and can be a jumping-off point for developing lifelong pursuits. Platt shares strategies her school uses to spark interest.
Reading NBCT Roxanna Elden’s novel chronicling the trials and tribulations of educators at fictional Brae Hill Valley HS made Rita Platt laugh. A lot. While Elden reveals the often “dark heart” of reform, she also captures the small everyday successes that keep us going.
The Notice and Note reading strategies “changed my life as an educator,” writes Brent Gilson in a post he unabashedly describes as a “love letter” to Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. You’ll understand his passion when you learn how he integrates the 6 Signposts into lessons.