This school year, The New York Times is offering a free, flexible, seven-unit writing curriculum based on real-world genres found not just in The Times, but in all kinds of print and online sources. Woven into each unit are multiple opportunities for students to publish and have their writing read by authentic audiences. Each unit includes writing prompts to help students try out related skills, daily opportunities to practice writing for an authentic audience, guided practice with Mentor Texts, teaching ideas and webinars, and a contest that can serve as a culminating project. To support this year’s contest, The Times is publishing a mentor text-guided practice series that shows how Times journalists write about literature, history, science, and the arts by doing this same kind of contextualizing that helps readers see the relevance of a topic in their lives today. The following units will be offered throughout the 2019–2020 school year: “The Personal Narrative Essay” (September/October), “The Review” (October/November), “Analysis and Connection Making” (December/January), “Informational Writing” (January/February), “Argumentative Writing” (February/March), “Multi-Genre Writing” (April/May), “Independent Reading and Writing” (June–August).
Each time you and your students embark on a new story,
your characters undergo a transformation. If you lead your students through the
elements we’ve discussed (creating an epic classroom, uncovering a conflict, and traversing the rising action to solve the conflict) then the transformation will happen by itself. A critical part of
epic learning is helping students to realize that metamorphosis and use what
they’ve learned. Here are a few activities to facilitate reflection and wrap up
your epic learning experience.
Are you curious how you might integrate computer science in your upper elementary classroom, or are you looking for a unique way to have your students share their favorite books? With technology playing an increasingly important role in every profession, a foundational understanding of computer science is becoming an essential component of student learning. To authentically integrate computer science and literacy, I’m going to teach you how to support your students in using block-based coding to program book trailers.
A team based at the University of British Columbia in Canada has developed a literacyportal, Global Storybooks, which hosts custom sites with multilingual, open-licensed books from more than 40 countries and regions on five continents. The portal is intended to help democratize global flows of information and resources, facilitate language learning—including Indigenous languages—and promote literacy.