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English Journal, Vol. 91, No. 4, March 2002

Cover Art for English Journal, Vol. 91, No. 4, March 2002

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: The Truth about Nonfiction

  • Contemplative Reading—The Experience, the Idea, the Applications

    Charles Suhor

    Abstract: The weight of academic tradition and current trends is powerful. We are inclined to work with conventional and popular terms, categories, and ideas about literature and teaching, even when our personal experience gives us different cues. For example, the term "contemplative reading" is not usually seen in textbooks or discussions of literary genres. But I believe that certain nonfiction works evoke an experience of contemplative response that is familiar to innumerable teachers and other readers.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • The Use of Slave Narratives in a High School English Class

    Susan Arpajian Jolley

    Abstract: "Like most English teachers," Susan Jolley has "spent [her] career teaching fiction and poetry. However, realizing that most people read more nonfiction than fiction in their academic careers and personal lives," she has "made the effort in recent years to incorporate nonfiction works into every curriculum" she teaches. Jolley feels that "nonfiction connections [like slave narratives] can bring an immediacy and relevance to the study of any novel."

    Keywords: Assessment, Diversity, Literature, Pedagogy, Writing, Reading, Secondary

  • When History Talks Back: Teaching Nonfiction Literature of the Vietnam War

    Larry R. Johannessen

    Abstract: Larry Johannessen prefer using nonfiction (e.g. "personal narratives, memoirs, or oral histories") in order to introduce his high school students to rich literary depictions of the Vietnam War. These works usually elicit a response from the students far beyond any teachers' expectations. Find out why this genre of literature is so appealing to teenage readers by reading more about Johannessen's curriculum choices.

    Keywords: Diversity, Literature, Pedagogy, Writing, Reading, Secondary

  • Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: Getting Real in Upward Bound

    Barbara G. Pace and Theresa A. Adkins

    Abstract: A pre-service teacher helps her students in the Upward Bound college-prep program become active readers by selecting a nonfiction text like Geoffrey Canada's "Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America" that was both "accessible and connective."

    Keywords: Literacy, Literature, Pedagogy, Research, Writing, Reading, Secondary

  • Exploring Nonfiction through Depression-Era Letter Writing

    Denise M. Ousley

    Abstract: "Since most historians agree that the Great Depression was a watershed event in twentieth century America," Denise Ousley believes "an in-depth exploration of the unsteady political and economic climate, cultural traditions, and diverse experiences of this defining era would do our students a great service." Therefore, in this article, she makes "the case for presenting—for celebrating—the nonfiction of the Depression in the English classroom." More specifically, Ousley thinks that "one of the most productive ways to explore Depression-era history is to read the works of the people who were in the midst of surviving it—through the letters they wrote to the White House.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Question and Answer: Reading Nonfiction to Develop the Persuasive Essay

    Don Pedersen

    Abstract: Instead of having his students read fiction in order to write argumentative and analytical essays, Don Pedersen wanted them to become critical readers "so that independently they, as writers, could begin to anticipate the specifics and development needed to convince the reader of an author’s credibility and a writing’s worth."

    Keywords: Assessment, Literacy, Literature, Pedagogy, Writing, Reading, Secondary

  • Linkages of Nonfiction and Selfhood: The Places of Personal Essaays

    Leigh Howard Holmes

    Abstract: Literary fiction offers teachers interesting "What if ?" situations to mull over with students. Through the vicarious explorations of fiction students learn to choose or avoid life situations, as Louise Rosenblatt taught us over seventy years ago. However, nonfiction literary prose offers advantages that literary fiction does not. One of these is the directness and sense of honesty that comes with a single voice telling things as they are seen by that person. Other advantages rest in the potential classroom linkages between reading this form of literature and writing the personal essay. Read more about these advantages that Holmes discovers.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Using Primary Sources to Build a Community of Thinkers

    Katherine R. Morgan

    Abstract: According to Katherine Morgan, "the words 'primary source' conjure up stale ideas of moldy texts on brittle paper preserved in archival sleeves in historical collections. History or social studies teachers might react positively to the idea of the primary source document as a vehicle for learning, but English teachers might be less enthusiastic." Read this article to find out how "primary sources and nonfiction [can] offer valuable opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and critical thinking in all fields of study."

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Yankee Schoolmarms in the South: Models or Monsters?

    Sara Dalmas Jonsberg

    Abstract: In this historical account of the South during Reconstruction, Sara Jonsberg looks at the relationship between white female teachers from New England and their newly freed slave pupils. Her study is contextualized by today's critical race studies such as the work of Beverly Daniel Tatums.

    Keywords: Diversity, Literacy, Literature, Pedagogy, Research, Secondary

  • EJ Extra

    Abstract: Describes two student teachers' experiences with their students on September 11th, 2001. Comments that the crazier things get "out there," the more teachers and public education may be among the only things that can make a difference.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Speaking My Mind: Teaching in the Days after September 11, 2001

    Abstract: Asks herself how she can teach at this difficult time. Comments that she teaches carefully, desperately, deliberately, and honestly and in the same ways that thousands of teachers before her have taught in times of crisis, grief, and fear of what the future holds. Concludes that this may be the most important time in her life to be a teacher.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • From the Secondary Section: What's the Truth about Nonfiction?

    Paul Hirth

    Abstract: Argues for the use of nonfiction in classrooms. Presents three passages from sources usually far removed from the typical secondary language arts classroom to help make the point. Concludes that just as the study of fiction, drama, and poetry help students explore their thoughts and feelings, nonfiction can offer a reality check with which to measure their individual responses.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Insights for Interns

    Abstract: Presents a question and answer format addressing what to do with a student who in the beginning of the fourth quarter has no chance of passing. Discusses some effective strategies for classroom management that have worked for experienced teachers.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Talk About Books: Magical Landscapes: Two Love Stories

    John Noell Moore, editor

    Abstract: Introduces two books about magic, one a collection of essays "Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader," which describes the author's inherited lifelong passion for books and reading; and the other a novel, "Mangos, Bananas and Coconuts: A Cuban Love Story," which tells a story of love and magic that seems both real and surreal.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Young Adult Literature: De Facto YA Literature and False Expectations

    Chris Crowe, editor

    Abstract: Notes that English teachers have to do their part in teaching literary-cultural literacy, but they also have a responsibility to expose students to the wide range of literature that exists outside of the de facto Young Adult Literature perpetuated by school curricula. Presents annotations of 10 new or overlooked Young Adult books worth reading.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • From the Editor

    Virginia R. Monseau

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • FOR FUN: Phrase Makers

    Stephen Sniderman

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • English in the News

    Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens, Editor

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Learning with Technology

    Trevor Owen, Editor

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Poetry

    David Hassler, Editor

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Professional Links: Considering the Effect on Students: Teachers Making Decisions About Curriculum

    Connie S. Zitlow, Editor

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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