5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 50-56 of 57 Articles

There's a little sticker reading "Sci-fi/Fantasy" on the cover of my library copy of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting. Well. I guess this novel, about the inadvertently-immortal family the Tucks, and their run-in with the mortal human world, is a fantasy, but only in the same way Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables are fantasies. For my beloved little Tuck creates and populates a world — in this case, a small town in the 1880s called "Treegap" — just as surely as those classics do, without aliens, space travel or weird people in trench coats lurking around. I hate to see this gem of a novel get brushed off to a genre audience, for it has much to teach classrooms of young adults.  Continue reading...
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In my last column, I began an overview of how Thornton Wilder used language in his classic American play, Our Town. Teachers, you'll want to read that column before picking up here, which points out several more ways Wilder adeptly used words in his play. You'll be able to use these ideas in your classroom.  Continue reading...
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Hi, faithful Visual Thesaurus subscribers! I'm back! Did you have a good summer? Did you miss me? I missed writing this column for you. One of the nice things about having some time off from full-time teaching (besides the long days spent in pajamas and sleeping past 6 a.m.) was that I had an opportunity to think about the next direction to take my contributions to the "Teachers at Work" feature.  Continue reading...
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Okay, y'all, last month's column wore me out. So I turned off the interweb, rested my mouse-clickin' hand, and took a nap with Julie Andrews' wonderful memoir, Home, on my chest. Now, as I promised, I'm back with more resources to help teachers get their students to grasp literature through historical context.  Continue reading...
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On a test given on The Crucible during my first year of teaching high school English, I asked my juniors to name the time period of the play. Now, I'm sure I mentioned this several times while we read it, and — call me crazy — but I'm also fairly certain Miller specified that his play is set in the 1600's, what with his bonnets and "Goodys" and the fact that the Salem Witch Hunt took place in that century. I assumed that this was enough information to answer the question correctly.

O, foolish young teacher! Among the responses I received: "The Civil War," "American times," "Long ago," "the Colonial Era," and, my favorite, "the Early Twentieth Century."  Continue reading...
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My Juniors are beginning research papers this month, so last week, I broke the news to them, as I do every year: For their papers, they'll have to get up from their computers, go to an actual library building, and do some of their research with old-fashioned paper sources: newspapers, magazines, books. The horror in their eyes grows stronger every year, for each subsequent class I encounter lives more and more enmeshed in the online world. Yet, like my fellow teachers, I persevere with my insistence, for we know that research is a skill best learned in a library.  Continue reading...
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"Blancmange?" one of my students said. "What's blancmange?" And suddenly, we weren't talking about themes and relationships in Little Women anymore, but instead about a foodstuff that no one's enjoyed for 200 years.  Continue reading...
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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 50-56 of 57 Articles