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2014 Postconvention Workshops - Previous Revision

The post-convention workshops occur after the NCTE Annual Convention. They will be held at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort on Monday, November 22, 2010 and Tuesday, November 23, 2010. Please see the complete listing below.

 Storytelling and Poetry as Performance Literacy (E-M)


W.2 TEACHER + WRITER = SUCCESS: How Professional Creative Writing Partnerships Can Enhance the Classroom (E-M-S)


W.3 Persuasive Writing and Teaching Tolerance: Nonfiction Writing Techniques That Inspire Students to Lead Literate Lives (M-S)
Sponsored by the Assembly for Advisors of Student Publications/Journalism Education Association

W.4 Leading Out Our Profession through Advocacy: Empowering Teachers, Learners, and Researchers in the Advancement of Literacy for All (G)


W.5 Working with NCTE to Advocate for Literacy Education (G)
Sponsored by SLATE (NO FEE—1/2 Day—9:00 a.m.—Noon)


W.6 Critical Literacy and Today's Online and Digital Media Technologies (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly on Computers in English


W.7 Toward a More Hopeful Vision of Writing, Teaching, and Assessment (G)

W.8  Literacy and the Arts: Books That Inspire the Visual Artist, Poet, and Musician in All of Us (G)
Sponsored by the Children’s Literature Assembly


W.9 Ambitious Reading: Learning to Study and Interpret Literature through Dramatic Inquiry (G)


W.10 Exploring Key Issues in Language and Literacy Education for the 21st Century (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly for Research

CANCELED! - W.11 Building Classroom Reading Communities (G)
Sponsored by the Whole Language Umbrella (WLU)


W.12 A Lesson from History: Nazi Propaganda, Media Literacy, and the Information Age(G)

W.13 Multicultural, Multiliterate: Writing the World
Sponsored by the Conference on English Education (CEE) 

CLOSED! - W.14 Looking for the Real Me: The Search for Self in Young Adult Literature (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)

W.15 Reclaiming Creativity

Sponsored by the Conference on English Leadership (CEL)


Workshop Descriptions

W.1 Storytelling and Poetry as Performance Literacy (E-M)

Performance literacy is the process of teaching students to write and perform their own stories and poetry. The activities in this hands-on workshop teach educators how to facilitate children's oral and written language development, increase listening and reading comprehension, inspire a love of writing and reading, and promote cross-cultural understanding.

Performance literacy is a rich interactive learning process that builds on constructivist learning principles with the learner as an active participant in the process (Palmer, Harshbarger, & Koch, 2001).  The performance literacy environment is not like the often passive, dreary, teacher-scripted, intellectually impoverished classroom environment that may be seen in the aftermath of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. Performance literacy instruction provides active engagement with reading and writing in a way that is often missing in schools. It encourages students to display their literary accomplishments in ways that extend far beyond the scope of what standardized tests can measure. The final step in the process of performance literacy involves performing/publishing student work in front of other students, parents, and community members as a real audience.  This helps bridge the gap between parents/community and schools.  It provides parents with solid evidence that their children are improving academically and increasing their ability to engage in meaningful literacy.

Palmer, B.C., Harshbarger, S.J., & Koch, C.A. (2001). Storytelling as a constructivist model for developing language and literacy. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 14, 199-212.

W.2 TEACHER + WRITER = SUCCESS: How Professional Creative Writing Partnerships Can Enhance the Classroom (E-M-S)


Teachers often say that working with a professional writer changes their teaching. Through whole-group, multimedia, and hands-on presentations, writers and their partner-teachers from the national Writers in the Schools (WITS) Alliance will explain how they work together to enliven writing, enhance their schools’ literary culture, and expand students’ literary lives.  Presenters will explain the basics of WITS Alliance creative writing residency and how it can bring state-mandated ELA competencies to life.  The session will show how creative writing can integrate curricula and enhance learning in language arts and content areas.  

Writer-teacher teams will speak from their experiences with basic programs as well as two expanded models: (a) “Whole School” literary immersion programs and (b) summer institutes where classroom teachers team-teach with practicing writers.  They will describe how everyone learns from each other through these partnerships and how the process changes practices and impacts students.   A freelance teaching poet will discuss how she builds relationships with schools and communities, while a university-based poetry program will show how graduates and undergraduates can contribute to, and learn from, a writers-in-residence program.  The session will also present methods of evaluating literary programs and what we can learn from on-the-ground vs standardized measures of student success.  Participants will engage in writing activities, browse a “bazaar” of WITS Alliance materials presenting students’ writing to the community, and receive a packet including lesson plans, samples of student writing, and a bibliography. 

W.3 Persuasive Writing and Teaching Tolerance: Nonfiction Writing Techniques That Inspire Students to Lead Literate Lives (M-S)
Sponsored by the Assembly for Advisors of Student Publications/Journalism Education Association 

Using materials developed by the Teaching Tolerance Center in Montgomery, Alabama, teachers in this workshop will have hands-on activities to use with secondary students, grades 6-12, to develop strong skills in nonfiction writing. The Southern Poverty Law Center will support this workshop with many of the materials provided free of charge to participants. In addition, techniques of Intensive Journalistic Writing, which have proven successful in helping students of diverse backgrounds do well on AP Language and Composition exams, will be shared with regards to nonfiction writing techniques. This program will provide additional classroom activities, projects, and ideas for teachers.

In short, this workshop will be busy, energizing, and productive. Teachers will NOT be listening to lectures and taking notes. Instead, they will be writing, discussing, challenging old stereotypes, planning new classroom lessons, and thinking about ways to help their students in two key areas: writing effective nonfiction and building tolerance in their own classrooms and schools.

W.4 Leading Out Our Profession through Advocacy: Empowering Teachers, Learners, and Researchers in the Advancement of Literacy for All (G)

In order for full participation in a democratic society, our teachers and students need more than scripted lessons, mandates, and sanctions handed down by those far from the classrooms. During the Reagan years, systems and structures were set in place so that corporate giants and government would have more control over education:  those who have the same life experiences as those in power.  The effect resulted in educational policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (NCLB) and now the Race to the Top and the push for national standards, and management of education by policymakers. Current educational policies stifle teachers from using their expertise to make informed decisions about how to scaffold and provide the appropriate instruction, not scripted lessons, for the unique and various students in their classrooms. 

This workshop will examine practices that support students and teachers in their quest to become active and engaged participating members of our society. At a time where economic, social, political, and educational reform is demanded of us by the potential failures of these systems, it seems prudent and important to revisit and explore what is currently being researched, review what does work, and discuss how to use this information to empower teachers—the ones who tirelessly give of themselves to help their students engage in meaningful learning with purpose and joy.

This workshop will provide participants and presenters multiple opportunities to engage in critical reflection, dialogue, and action toward an educational reform and advocacy that enables teachers and learners to collaborate, explore, engage, and renew ourselves through positive, empowering, professional advocacy.


W.5  Working with NCTE to Advocate for Literacy Education (G)
Sponsored by SLATE (NO FEE—1/2 Day—9:00 a.m.—Noon)


Since 1911, NCTE has developed policies and taken stands to improve teaching in the English language arts and to improve student learning. The Council realizes that the voices of educators are most important in policymaking efforts at the national, state, and local levels and so this session, sponsored by NCTE’s political action committee, SLATE (Support for the Learning and Teaching of English), is designed as a how-to session for members on using NCTE policies to advocate for literacy.


Participants will learn how NCTE makes policy. They’ll receive copies of NCTE’s legislative platform, learn about NCTE’s advocacy efforts to accomplish the goals of the platform, and learn how they can use the platform to advocate for literacy education. Participants will practice how to talk about NCTE policies with legislators and policymakers and they will hear from other NCTE members who have used NCTE policies to advocate for literacy education. Throughout the session participants will gather information to develop a personal literacy education advocacy plan to take home and enact.

W.6  Critical Literacy and Today's Online and Digital Media Technologies (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly on Computers in English

Through hands-on activities, group discussions, and one-on-one instruction, participants will be introduced to today’s digital information and communication-age technologies. Online applications such as podcasting and bookmarking services, digital reading and writing tools, and other programs will be explored. Our special focus will be on connecting these new applications to support the acquisition of critical literacy and analytic skills and meld them with existing classroom objectives and practices.


W.7 Toward a More Hopeful Vision of Writing, Teaching, and Assessment (G)

Through reading, writing, and thinking, we will engage with other teachers committed to figuring out how to make English class a meaningful place of hope and engagement with the world through words. This workshop will be both inspirational and practical, offering an experience and vision of writing and teaching worth fighting for, as well as practical strategies to avoid the “That’s a good idea but I could never do it in my school” trap.


We’ll take on assessment despair together and figure out how and why the wrong assessments can kill the most meaningful classroom experiences. We’ll learn to assess our students’ writing in ways that empower our students and ourselves. We seek teachers who claim the power of literacy for themselves and their students in the face of obstacles. We will create an online professional learning community that will continue after the conference, uniting teachers in a search for clarity and purpose in writing.


Penny Kittle is a high school teacher and consultant in northern New Hampshire.  Her book, Write Beside Them won NCTE’s Britton Award in 2009.  Marianna Romano teaches secondary English in Illinois.  She has presented at numerous conferences, including NCTE. Maja Wilson taught high school, middle school, and adult education in Michigan for 10 years before taking a sabbatical to pursue her doctorate in Composition Studies at the University of New Hampshire.  Her book, Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment won NCTE’s Britton Award in 2007.

W.8 Literacy and the Arts: Books That Inspire the Visual Artist, Poet, and Musician in All of Us (G)
Sponsored by the Children’s Literature Assembly


Sharing books with children that celebrate artistic themes and promote artistic expression provides expanded literacy experiences that enhance their lives.  This workshop features a panel of respected and award-winning writers and illustrators who will discuss their own artistic processes as they share books that promote a variety of artistic endeavors: creating visual art, music, and poetry. 

In these days of mandated curriculum boasting a “back to basics” mentality, it is increasingly important for artful educators to promote and sustain the partnership of the arts and literacy within their teaching and learning communities (Caughlan, 2008). Fostering engagement with books that integrate artistic themes allows educators to connect the arts across their curriculum and enhance their students’ reading vistas.  This workshop will allow the audience members, including classroom teachers, college-level children’s literature instructors, and others interested in children’s literature, to interact with a panel of award-winning writers and illustrators to delve into the artistic themes within books.

Caughlan,S. (2008). Advocating for the arts in the age of multiliteracies. Language Arts, 86, 120-127.

W.9 Ambitious Reading: Learning to Study and Interpret Literature through Dramatic Inquiry (G)


How can teachers and students learn to look with fresh eyes at challenging language, plot structures, and characterizations in literature—by writers such as Shakespeare, Jacqueline Woodson, Sandra Cisneros, and Julius Lester?  How can they imagine and interpret the ethical issues that arise during their reading?  We invite elementary through high school teachers to join us in a day-long, active immersion in the dramatic inquiry practices that build strong relationships among students and enable vital, critical interpretations of complex texts.


Drama has long been regarded as a motivating experience for students as they read literature.  As presenters who are university faculty and teachers, we have developed an understanding and practice of dramatic inquiry (Edmiston, 2010) based on the tenets of process drama (Heathcote, 1984; O’Neill, 1996; Wilhelm & Edmiston, 1998), drama strategies (Neelands, 1990) and critical inquiry-based education (Short, Harste, & Burke, 1996; Beach & Myers, 2001).   Our work is distinctive, however, because we have also built a repertoire of practices through a year-long partnership with members of the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company education department. The RSC educators’ approach to Shakespearean textual study is based on actors’ ensemble-building and rehearsal processes and the insights about a story that can develop by embodying selected portions of ambitious texts.


We have studied and adapted the RSC approaches for ambitious reading and ensemble development in third through twelfth grade classes throughout the 2009-2010 school year.  We want to show teachers across the country how it is possible to reframe their understanding of reading, comprehension, and social engagement in meaning-making.  We are especially committed to demonstrating how students who are often viewed as underachieving, resistant, or struggling can become central participants in an ensemble of reading and interpretation.  Our work this year has confirmed that “standing up”, living inside, and creating fictional framings on the world of a text will transform students’ and teachers’ relationships and their views of what it means to “be a reader.”


We will follow a plan that begins with ensemble-building, then engages participants in an inquiry frame or point of view for dramatizing and interpreting a difficult text, and follows with guidance through a sequence of actions and representations that enable close reading as well as deeper understanding of our responsibilities as both “witnesses“ and participants in the world of the story.  Throughout the workshop, we will share digital images/videos that demonstrate ambitious reading in actual classrooms.  


The workshop activities will be divided into 1.5 hour-long segments.

9-10:30 Ensemble building – What is and what builds an ensemble? How and why can ensemble sustain learning?

10:30 – 12:00  Dramatic Inquiry: Framing investigation in a shared imagined world —What are our responsibilities for interpretation? What are our interests and ideas for interpreting selected texts? What will our reading do to create a more just and equitable world?

Break for Lunch

1-2:30 Practicing and planning sequences of experiences that take us closer to understanding across texts.

2:30 – 3:30  Reflection and discussion.


Beach, R., & Myers, J. (2001). Inquiry-based English instruction: Engaging students in life and literature. New York: Teachers College Press.

Edmiston, B. (2007). Mission to Mars: Using drama to make a classroom more inclusive for literacy learning. Language Arts, 84, 337-346.

Heathcote, D. (1984). Collected writings on education and drama. Evanston, II: Northwestern University Press.

Neelands, J. (1990) Structuring drama. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

O’Neill, C. (1995). Drama worlds: A framework for process drama. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Short, K.G., Harste, J.C., & Burke, C. (1996). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers (2nd. ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Wilhelm, J., & Edmiston, B. (1998). Imagining to learn: Inquiry, ethics, and integration through drama. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

W.10 Exploring Key Issues in Language and Literacy Education for the 21st Century (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly for Research


This workshop is sponsored by the NCTE Assembly for Research and is designed for teachers and educational practitioners interested in learning more about prominent issues in language and literacy learning in the 21st century. It features a team of experts who address social, cultural, political, and linguistic issues that pertain to English Learners (ELs) and bilingual students across educational programs. Specifically, workshop discussions will focus on two issues of primary importance: (1) productive curriculum practices that harness the strengths of ELs and bilingual students, and (2) the role of digital media in reframing our understanding of language and literacy.

Researchers will draw on insights they have gained from examining various sociocultural factors that affect language and literacy learning in and out of school to facilitate practitioner dialogues. These dialogues will focus on ways to amplify the resources of ELs and bilingual students in order to enhance their academic potential in the context of 21st century classrooms. Topics will include ways to promote academic language in mainstream classrooms, exploit digital media technologies for language and literacy learning, expand ELs’ and bilingual students’ language and literacy toolkits, and organize teacher preparation to address the needs of linguistically diverse students.


W.11 Building Classroom Reading Communities (G)
Sponsored by the Whole Language Umbrella (WLU)


Expensive materials and scripted texts are not the most effective way to teach reading. This workshop will demonstrate through classroom examples and audience participation how to engage children from early grades through high school in talking about their readings and miscues, ultimately empowering them to discover their own reading strengths and areas for development. By encouraging students to talk about their miscues and explore miscues and reading strategies of others, we establish classroom reading communities that benefit all readers.

Rita Moore, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon
Vicki Seeger, Seaman Public Schools, Kansas


W.12 A Lesson from History: Nazi Propaganda, Media Literacy, and the Information Age (G)


The workshop has two main objectives:

  • To introduce English and language arts teachers to the resources of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • To explore contemporary issues of media literacy through the lens of the Museum's current initiative, "State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda."

The workshop will consist of four sessions:

Establishing a Historical Context The Holocaust was a historical event that took place in real time and involved real people: perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, victims, rescuers. Using a classroom-ready activity from the website, teachers will gain an understanding of the chronology, key events, and people of the Holocaust. What role did Nazi propaganda play in creating the atmosphere in which the Holocaust took place?

State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda An exploration of the Museum's exhibition about Nazi propaganda, including an introduction to the resources available on the Museum's website (http://www.ushmm.orq/prooaqanda/). What can we learn from the past? How can an examination of Nazi propaganda benefit our students?

How Does Propaganda Work? The Nazi regime coordinated its propaganda efforts in a way that no government had up to that point. The Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment broadcast its message through newspapers and magazines, radio and television, and popular film. Teachers will work with classroom resources to deconstruct examples of Nazi propaganda, both visual and verbal. Does propaganda work? Are we susceptible to propaganda today?

Propaganda in the 21st Century The Nazi Party were masters at creating propaganda. Using modern techniques as well as new technologies and carefully crafted messages, they swayed millions with their vision. In a structured conversation, teachers will explore their role in combatting modern propaganda. How do we prepare our students to withstand a deluge of information that threatens to drown them? Can democracy and propaganda coexist? What are the implications for our classrooms?

Participants will receive classroom resources produced by the Museum including books, posters, DVDs, and CD-ROMs. Because of this, we would like to limit the workshop to 100 attendees.

W.13 Multicultural, Multiliterate: Writing the World




Sponsored by the Conference on English Education (CEE) 

Monday, November 22, 2010, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Session W.13) - Coronado Ballroom Q,R, Coronado
Partially Off Site at the Epcot Center (see details below)
To register for this event, please see convention registration.

Participants in this full day workshop will consider what it means to write in a globalized, multiliterate world. Presentations and activities will explore writing in multiple genres and from multiple perspectives. Part of the afternoon will be dedicated to “writing around the world” at the World Showcase at Epcot Center.  At 1:30 p.m. the participants will catch the Epcot Bus.  Once arriving at Epcot, participants will be a part of a writing marathon using inquiry questions that were discussed earlier in the day.

To take part in the Epcot experience, participants will need to purchase a ½ day ticket to Epcot.  The price is $57.27 and tickets must be purchased in advance online.  Choose the ticket that begins at 2:00 p.m.  The ticket is good until the Park closes, so you will be able to take advantage of the wonderful restaurants and everything that Epcot has to offer once you have finished your writing.

After the convention, participants will work to revise drafts of the writing completed during the marathon.  After the workshop, participants will be invited to participate in a webinar where they can receive feedback on their writing and instruction for publishing their work.  In January there will be a celebration of the final drafts with online publication of the writing begun in Orlando.  
Though the workshop is designed to be a full day experience in Orlando, if participants choose not to take part in the writing marathon at Epcot, they will still be encouraged to write independently and to participate in follow-up activities.

W.14 Looking for the Real Me: The Search for Self in Young Adult Literature (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)

The two-day ALAN Workshop will continue its tradition of celebrating the very best of young adult literature and providing participants the opportunity to meet the leading authors of our times.  Award-winning writers representing diverse cultural backgrounds and literary genres will give presentations, read from their new works, and meet face-to-face with  session participants.  In addition, breakout sessions will provide pedagogical and analytical perspectives on the teaching and use of young adult literature.  Publishers provide funding for author appearances and supply participants with sample books from many of the participating authors. 

W.15 Reclaiming Creativity
Sponsored by the Conference on English Leadership (CEL)

Are you tired of hearing what the latest talking head has to say about the failure of literacy education in America?  Are you unsure how to leave no child behind while racing to the top?  Do you grapple with students rather than subgroups?  Are you questioning what it means to be a leader? 

If you lead, you need CEL.  If you are a leader, CEL needs you.

The Conference on English Leadership is holding its annual convention with the theme Reclaiming Creativity. Join fellow leaders deep in the heart of Disney to recognize and reclaim the creativity that is so crucial to English language arts instruction.  Creativity is the surest way to reach every student.  Creative teaching is the best way to ensure that every student learns more.  Creative leadership is the vehicle to advance whole departments and entire schools toward ever-elusive standards.  You do not want to miss three days of conversation with your peers to jump start the solutions you need to make a difference. 

If you are not sure if the CEL convention is worth a few extra days and a few extra dollars, then you have never attended!  Check out CEL on the NCTE Ning, read the latest issue of English Leadership Quarterly, talk to anyone who has ever attended, and check out the CEL website to see our keynote speakers and session descriptions for Orlando.

If you are a CEL regular, you will be thrilled to see how we have stepped up the leadership emphasis with our Tuesday carousel designed to give leaders of all stripes the tools they need to confront the challenges they face each day. 

So what are you waiting for?  Reclaim your corner of creativity today.  We can’t wait to see you in Orlando.  We’ll save a pair of mouse ears for you.




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