Red pencil being used to edit a paper. The word laying is circled in red

The Dreaded Awk

By Ann D. David I have written “awk” in the margins of many a student essay, especially when I taught high school English.  The feedback was accurate in that whenever I wrote awk, the writing was, indeed, awkward.  And if the writer fixed that section, the paper would be better.  Figuring out why the sentence…

Critical Lenses on Popular Culture: Using Literary Theory to Engage Students in Analytical Writing

By Shannon Falkner While English Language Arts classrooms will always be grounds for introducing students to literature and asking them to write about those readings, what if we also invited students to introduce us to the texts they love — the ones they’re already talking and thinking about? What if we offered them opportunities to…

Paradoxical Truth in an Orange Blossom

By Kim Johnson As Tommy Orange, author of There, There delivered his keynote speech to a packed conference of NCTE  attendees, he told brief stories, or “episodes”––snippets of life events that reinforce a particular idea. Orange shared how unlikely it was that he was standing on this stage––a bestselling Native American author, finalist for the…

Sijo: Power in Diversity

By Elizabeth Jorgensen Today’s Diverse Classrooms I want the junior and senior students in my creative writing classes to discover the potential in writing and to appreciate diverse voices. Knowing the traditional canon is often too narrow, I incorporate diverse texts; I aim to increase a student’s capacity for empathy, to help them identify with…