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A Place for the Humanities
from NCTE INBOX 3-13-12
The following resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org share resources for including humanities in the classroom. Incorporating humanities into the curriculum provides a natural lead-in to a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching.

Literacies, the Arts, and MultimodalityLiteracies, the Arts, and Multimodality (G) presents a broad range of research and practice that demonstrates effective integration of study in the arts, multimodality, and new literacies into K-12 English language arts classrooms. Learn more with the On-Demand Web Seminar "Creating Strong Writers through Visual Arts."

After reading Shakespeare's Hamlet, students identify, analyze, and explain how elements in Botticelli's painting Birth of Venus and examples from the play illustrate the philosophy of Renaissance Humanism in the ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan Renaissance Humanism in Hamlet and The Birth of Venus (S).

In the Talking Points article "Using Video Podcasts to Engage Digital Natives in Foreign Language Learning" (G), the authors describe how they use video podcasts in a second language classroom to bridge the digital divide between students and teachers.

Teachers of college and high school English and social studies collaborate on a project that engages their students in interviews of local people of historical interest in "Bridging Gaps and Preserving Memories through Oral History Research and Writing" (M-S) from English Journal. The ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan Not Your Usual History Lesson: Writing Historical Markers (M) presents a similar idea in which students develop their understanding of writing and local history by creating their own historical markers.

While reading Beloved with her students, the author of "Challenging Students to Critically Connect Literature and History" (S) realized there was some confusion about events in the text. As they connected the literature to history, however, the students began to understand Morrison's text.

Students study Chaucer's Canterbury Tales not just for its rich language but also for the insights it provides into the Middle Ages. In Exploring the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Using Wikis (S), students collaborate to study both literature and history on their own terms.

The NCTE High School Literature Series (S) helps teachers get their students excited about literature. Each brief, accessible book focuses on a single author or work and features excerpts from the writer's works, biographical information, and samples of professional literary criticism. Rich in opportunities for classroom discussion and writing assignments, each book also offers many examples of student writing. 

 

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