Tag Archives: 2017

The 2017 African American Read-In!

“The African American Read-In (AARI) . . . is built on an ambitious yet confident premise: that a school and community reading event can be an effective way to promote diversity in children’s literature, encourage young people to read, and shine a spotlight on African American authors.”

Join over a million readers as part of the Twenty-Eighth National African American Read-In in February 2017! Learn more about what happens at a Read-In in the English Journal article “The African American Read-In: Celebrating Black Writers and Supporting Youth“. This month, look for posts marked with #AARI17.

The ReadWriteThink.org Text Messages podcast “Celebrating the African American Read-In” provides recommendations of both old and new titles by distinguished African American authors who write for teens. Featured books range from historical novels to contemporary explorations of African American life in both urban and suburban settings.

In the ReadWriteThink.org lesson “Analyzing First-Person Narration in Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind” students explore the different facets of complexity in the compelling first-person narrator in Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind.

The lesson plan “I Have a Dream: Exploring Nonviolence in Young Adult Texts” has students identify how Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of nonviolent conflict-resolution is reinterpreted in modern texts, including a text by Walter Dean Myers and rapper Common.

Childhood Remembrances: Life and Art Intersect in Nikki Giovanni’s ‘Nikki-Rosa’“, invites students to read Nikki Giovanni’s poem, “Nikki-Rosa,” and then writing about childhood memories of their own.

This lesson from ReadWriteThink.org this lesson gives students an introduction to Jacqueline Woodson’s verse memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming.

Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 is the focus of the lesson plan “Graphing Plot and Character in a Novel“, which invites students to graph the journey of the family while exploring the plot and character development in the novel.

Nikki Giovanni’s poem “The Funeral of Martin Luther King Jr.” is paired with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, taking students on a quest through time to the civil rights movement in the lesson “Entering History: Nikki Giovanni and Martin Luther King Jr.

Listen as Myers shared how his own experiences as a reader shaped his approach to storytelling.

Tune in to a podcast interview with Nikki Grimes where her writing process and what inspires the characters in her books is shared. Also shared is her philosophy about writing for children and how her life has influenced her writing.

For more ideas, see the ReadWriteThink.org Calendar entry for the African American Read-In which includes more lesson plans, classroom activities, and online resources.

Goal Setting

goal-setting-headerAt the start of the new year, many people name their resolutions. What if we worked with students to set goals for the new calendar year? Here are some resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org that may help.

Create a partnership with families by structuring student reflection and family response through daily and weekly student self-assessment as described in the lesson plan “Involving Students and Families in Ongoing Reflection and Assessment“.

Giving students more of a role in determining their learning goals is an important aspect of curriculum that educators continue to strive for as we move forward. Based on classroom research, “Teaching and Learning about Student Goal Setting in a Fifth-Grade Classroom” gives practical, well grounded suggestions for making it happen.

Engaging Students through Authentic and Effective Literacy Instruction” provides examples of how to invite students into their own literacy learning by setting goals and listening to their input. This, in turn, helps students learn at a deeper level and they are more likely to retain what they learn.

“Over the past few years, I have discovered that methodical goal-setting and routine reflection exercises can result in the most exciting and rewarding moments in
the classroom,” teacher Marisa Harford describes in “Beginning with the Students: Ownership through Reflection and Goal-Setting“.

How do you set goals with your students? Have a wonderful 2017!