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ReadWriteThink Connections: English Journal Vol. 104, No. 6 (July 2015)

ReadWriteThink, created by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Literacy Association (ILA), provides free instructional practices and digital resources that support effective reading and language arts instruction for all learners. Most articles in English Journal include connections to ReadWriteThink lesson plans and other resources.

Grounding Our Teaching in Research: Implications from Research in the Teaching of English, 2009-12
Resources such as Research in the Teaching of English have also influenced resources on ReadWriteThink.org. In this lesson, students analyze their schooling experiences by imagining what their education would be like if service learning was a requirement for graduation. They engage in a preliminary classroom debate—either agreeing with the proposed change in curriculum, opposing it, or taking a middle-ground stance—before they have all of the facts. From here, students research service learning and work in groups to prepare informed debates. At the end of this lesson, students reflect on the implications of making uninformed versus informed arguments as well as what it takes to build a strong, successful argument. This lesson cites “Audience Analysis and Persuasive Writing at the College Level” as the theory to practice. http://bit.ly/1HrK3pj

Cultivating Creativity
One way students can show their creativity is through use of technology. In this strategy guide series from ReadWriteThink.org, you will learn about reading online, blogs, podcasts, online safety, and using tools to showcase learning. http://bit.ly/1sRxAVh

Questioning Questioning: Essential Questions in English Classrooms
A main goal of educators today is to teach students the skills they need to be critical thinkers. Instead of simply memorizing facts and ideas, children need to engage in higher levels of thinking to reach their fullest potential. Practicing higher order thinking (HOT) skills outside of school will give kids and teens the tools that they need to understand, infer, connect, categorize, synthesize, evaluate, and apply the information they know to find solutions to new and existing problems. Read more in this ReadWriteThink.org Tip & How To. http://bit.ly/N6t1U9

Making Metaphor Visible: The Common Core, Poetry, and Visual Literacy
In this lesson by ReadWriteThink.org, students explore the connotations of the colors associated with the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, applying visual literacy skills. During prereading activities, students first brainstorm other words for the color red, and then compare paint swatches to those color words. Students discuss the meaning of connotation and how word meanings can change based on circumstances. They work in groups to explore the cultural connotations of a particular color and present their findings to the class. Students then apply what they have learned to an analysis of the use of color in Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” As students read The Great Gatsby, they track color imagery using a color log. After they have completed their reading, students review the observations in their color logs and use the information to write an analysis of one of the
major characters in the novel. http://bit.ly/1zXczi8

Rewriting Our Teaching Practices in Our Own Voices
Draft letters are a simple strategy that asks students to think critically about their writing on a specific assignment before submitting their work to a reader. Students write reflective letters to the teacher, identifying their thoughts on the piece that the teacher is about to read. This lesson from ReadWriteThink.org explains the strategy and provides models for the project, which can be adapted for any grade level and any writing project. It may be completed only for major assignments or on a more regular basis with all composition that students do. http://bit.ly/1AZi2D1

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts