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…

Coming Together Through Improv

By Sam Tanner Larry, a 9th grader with autism, stood confidently on the stage in a small theatre. He was screaming triumphantly as the lights went out. Our small audience exploded with laughter as the performance came to an end. “Seriously, this camp was one of the best experiences of my life,” Sarah, a 7th…

Write Here, Right Now

By Amber Jensen In the years I’ve spent as a student and a teacher in middle and high school, I have both asked and been asked the ubiquitous question: “But why do we have to learn this?” And I’ve told and been told the answer that so often follows: “You’re going to need to know…

Engaging Writers on the Autism Spectrum

Laura Sabella, Ph.D., University of South Florida A Teacher’s Discovery Ashley is an 8th grade language arts teacher in a mainstream class. She prides herself on offering myriad fun writing assignments to which most of her students respond enthusiastically, and most students are engaged. However, Ashley struggles to find writing opportunities that engage Ben, a…