Thursday, August 26, 2010

Resources for teaching English

by Tara Seale
An earlier NCTE Secondary Section blog post titled "On your mark...," by Dan Bruno discusses books and resources to use throughout the school year. Definitely a great blog post to start out the school year, and I completely agree with the titles Dan suggests. Check out the link to read the post.

Building on Dan's awesome idea, I have decided to share my favorite resource books below:

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
This is a great book for teaching students how to close read a passage. Not only does Prose delve into great classics and even some lesser known works, she discusses how to slowly appreciate each word and line written by the author. Prose provides reasons to slow down and really understand an author's craft instead of rushing through to get to the next required read.

They Say, I Say by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein
This book teaches students how to embed quotes by building on the ideas of others to enhance their writing. I use this book to provide my 9th graders with templates for their own writing. My students begin 9th grade by reading Edith Hamilton's Mythology. They Say, I Say helped me create a handout for my 9th grade students: Embedding Quotes handout.

Readings for Writers by Jo Ray McCuen-Metherell and Anthony Winkler
We all have our favorite anthologies, and this is mine. I would love it if you left comments about your favorite anthologies in the comments. I have found this one to be a great collection of writings with thought provoking questions.

The Writer's Journey by Christopher Volger
If you focus on archetypes, the heroic journey, or Joseph Campbell's monomyth ideas in your class, then you need this book. The explanations are easy to understand and relate to pop culture, so students really appreciate and connect to the ideas presented in this book.

Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
I can't imagine a resource list for English teachers that could be complete without a Kelly Gallagher book. Everything Kelly Gallagher writes is applicable to all English teachers. Readicide explains how to elevate the reading experiences of all students. I particularly like chapter 4: "Finding the 'Sweet Spot' of Instruction."

My favorite way to share books that I enjoy reading or using as a teaching resource is through Google Books. To look through the online Google Book library I have created, click here: Tara Seale's Google Books Library. If you have a Google Book library, please consider sharing the link in the comments of this post.

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