Promoting and Selecting Diverse Texts for Classroom Use

At the Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) last week in Washington D.C., the Board of Directors and Other Members of the Council passed a resolution supporting the inclusion of more diverse literary and informational texts in classrooms. The resolution will be presented to the full membership of NCTE for ratification by early January.

Promoting the inclusion of diverse voices in K-12 classrooms is an important element of curricular design and instruction. Supporting this idea is a new tool from Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center: Appendix D: A Tool for Selecting Diverse Texts.

An editable PDF that educators can download, complete, save and share, this tool promotes a multi-dimensional model for text selection, one that prioritizes critical literacy and cultural responsiveness as well as text complexity. Appendix D considers four distinct—but interconnected—dimensions of text selection: complexity (including both qualitative measures and quantitative measures such as the Lexile Framework for Reading), diversity and representation, critical literacy, and reader and task.

Appendix D offer a unique model for culturally responsive text selection that, when paired with a tool such as “Find a Book,” educators can use to explore, locate, and select more diverse literary and informational texts for their curricula while keeping an eye on the staircase of text complexity each student needs for college and career readiness.

Are You Writing Your Novel?

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo(http://nanowrimo.org/). NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit organization founded by Chris Baty in 1999, aims to encourage the creative writing dreams of people all over the world. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s 1,667 words a day! Participants use the official NaNoWriMo website to track their progress. The website also provides participants with writing tips and notes of inspiration throughout the writing period. Everyone who reaches the goal of 50,000 words written by November 30th gets a certificate, and a prize such as free books or deep discounts on writing software.

NaNoWriMo does more than just provide a place for budding novelists to track their progress. The organization also sponsors writing programs in schools all over the world. According to their Website, there were 92,000 participants in their Young Writers Program last year. The organization provides classroom materials to help teachers include novel writing in the classroom.  More information can be found here.

Happy noveling!

-Kate Pringle

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