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INBOX Ideas - Previous Revision

Preventing Bullying Behaviors
Bullying of students and its damage to victims are all-too familiar topics in the news. What are the causes and consequences of bullying? What can English teachers do to protect students and to prevent bullying? The July 2012 English Journal, "Preventing Bullying Behaviors," and these resources from NCTE and offer information and suggestions.

"As English teachers, we are in a unique position to use discourse as a way of helping students explore and understand bullying in all its forms and to shape their own values and attitudes toward it, even as they deepen their understanding of language effect and affect in the world," states the 2011 NCTE Resolution on Confronting Bullying and Harassment.

Listen in as author A.S. King and educator and bullying expert cj Bott talk about bullying, as Bott discusses fiction and nonfiction books for teens that explore the problem of bullying, and as King talks about her novel Everybody Sees the Ants. Find more book suggestions in this English Journal column.

"Moving toward Acceptance through Picture Books and Two-Voice Texts" shows the importance of connecting literature to students' lived experiences and provides an opportunity for students to learn about situations of intolerance and discuss ways to move to a more ideal world in which acceptance is the norm.

Joan Kaywell in "Teachers Offering Healthy Escape: Options for Teenagers in Pain" says "twenty-five percent of today's teenagers have inordinate emotional baggage beyond the normal angst of adolescence" and that this burden can lead to unhealthy escapes, including substance abuse, violence, and suicide. One healthy escape lies in books, where students can read about teenagers living in painful circumstances who make healthy choices.

The English Leadership Quarterly issue "The Deadly Power of Mean Words" provides resources to help answer these questions: "How can we best teach students about the power of words? What do we do when classroom talk becomes harmful? How do we stand up against negative language, and how do we teach that to students?"

"Stories of Us: Students and Film Director Collaborate the Problem of Bullying" shared how an anti-bullying film project can captivate students and also gives a glimpse of 21st century literacies in the classroom.  

When Gina made the connection between print-based and graphic novels during our interview, I felt like I had struck gold," says Ashley Dallacqua in the July 2012 issue of Language Arts. This issue, the editors say, features articles that reshape the ways in which texts are used in classrooms and shows how teachers and researchers "create opportunities for thoughtful inquiries that extend the traditional notions of what to pay attention to when reading and writing." Check out the following:

Writing: A Mode of Thinking

Listen in as Danling Fu and Jane Hansen talk about writing, the thinking that needs to be made visible, the roles of evaluation in writing, and writing across the disciplines in this new Language Arts podcast. Did you know that you can subscribe to these free podcasts in the iTunes Store?


"Writers Draw Visual Hooks: Children's Inquiry into Writing"
Described in this Language Arts article are bubble, zoom, and group hooks. In the bubble hook, children were encouraged to add speech-bubbles to their images; this can be done using the online tool The Comic Creator (the Character Map can be used to further describe their characters).  In the zoom hook, children were asked to take a visual approach; the online tool Doodle Splash encourages students to make connections.


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