Where Dystopian Fiction Meets Water Journalism

One way to help students become climate stewards is to model how reading paired climate texts enhances our ability to both problem-spot and problem-solve.  In our haste to offer solutions, we may insufficiently consider the root causes of environmental problems.  While reading Neal and Jarrod Shusterman’s novel Dry, my students and I pore over local […]

A Conversation that Nudges Students out of Embarrassment

If you’ve ever taught a bunch of self-conscious middle schoolers, you know that adolescents are perpetually embarrassed about anything and everything. You also know that they don’t just “get over it” when they realize that embarrassment is an impediment to their learning. In that state of biological and emotional upheaval, the rational voice (even when it exists) is drowned in the fear of embarrassment. 

Picture Book-Driven Inquiry: Picturing Survival with Octavia Butler

I’ve been eager to shake up my classroom literature circles.  Sometimes, it is easy to fall into a routine rut: assign some chapters to be read, passages to be annotated, literary techniques to be identified.  As we read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, I thought about what it meant for Lauren Olamina to come […]