Myths for Today

Myths are among the world’s oldest stories. They have endured for eons. Invite students to be the latest generation to fall under their spell. Magical objects, tricky animals, and clever women. Epic battles and heroic challenges. Journeys to heaven and the underworld. This is the stuff of myths. Originally, they explained the world. Today, they […]

Read All About It: International Literacy Day

Imagine a life without reading: job and college applications, the comics or sports page, birthday cards, bus schedules, Facebook pages, prescription bottles. Your opportunities, recreation, and daily habits would all be different. For those who can read, it may seem automatic, like breathing. However, becoming literate is a lifelong process that begins when you are […]

Manning Marable and A Life of Reinvention

Established in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize recognizes outstanding work in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition. To be considered for a 2012 Pulitzer, works had to be published during 2011 and submitted according to the entry guidelines. On April 16, 2012, the Pulitzer Prize winners were announced. This year, the Pulitzer announcement contained […]

Classroom Memory Books

“Remember when we did that project on major rivers? I loved the model that I made of the Ohio River”, said Jodie. “It was pretty cool, but my favorite memory this year was winning the Spelling Bee”, shared Sam. “Yeah, but the prize of ice cream sundaes for the whole class was the best!” said […]

Summer Reading, Having a Blast

Set aside your to-do list this summer and indulge in some pleasure reading. The recently announced Alex Award winners provide a varied pool of reading choices. And, if you cannot quite let go of teacher-mode, rest assured that your summer pleasure reading will help fortify you for next year’s predictable student lament, “There’s nothing to […]

Walter Dean Myers: Young People’s Ambassador

Monster. Hoops. Autobiography of My Dead Brother. Slam. Fallen Angels. Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary. 145th Street: Short Stories. Carmen. Street Love. Boys and girls, middle schoolers and high schoolers, prolific readers and non-readers: there is a Walter Dean Myers book for everyone. Do not limit yourself to just one of his stories; conduct […]

Growing a Poetry Tree

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree” is from the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. Imagine growing a Poetry Tree in your classroom to investigate and celebrate poetry. Cultivate the soil by studying the elements of poetry, fertilize your plant by examining poetry, and admire your Poetry Tree […]

The Novels of John Steinbeck

Looking for an unforgettable story? Look to John Steinbeck. Autumn is novel season. In October, the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded. The first Saturday in November is Book Lovers’ Day, and November is Novel Writer’s Month. Which American author represents the novel as well as John Steinbeck? Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The […]

The Five Senses of Summer Vacations

From surfing the waves in Florida to hiking in the Grand Canyon, writing about “what I did over the summer” seems to be a standard for the beginning of the school year. Tapping into students’ five senses can make this type of essay come alive and help the reader see, feel, hear, taste and touch […]

Put a Little Poetry in your Life (or your Pocket)

When is the last time you read a poem? It is easy to overlook the genre; poems are often so short they could fit on slips of paper, tucked in a pocket like a secret. Novels carry the weight of pages, non-fiction texts the importance of facts. To some, poetry seems insignificant, but poetry expresses […]

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