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Taking English Journal into the Classroom

Whether you are an elementary language arts teacher or a literature professor, NCTE has a peer-reviewed journal for you, with content reflecting current research, trends, and strategies. Our 10 professional journals are available in paper and online, along with an extensive archive of past issues.

Subscribers have access to all the articles in their journal, from present day articles to those in the digital archive. But did you know that in each issue, several articles are made free to everyone? One of those free articles, “Dealing with and Writing about Death” comes from the “Death in the English Classroom” themed issue of English Journal, Volume 107, Number 2, November 2017.

In this issue, authors share the agony and beauty of death in the lives of their classrooms. They open their hearts and disclose the scars of loss—scars related to deaths in their own families and the families of their students, as well as the wound of an empty student desk. Articles also examine how death in texts can offer insights that build relationships, enhance curriculum, and strengthen literacies by engaging with authentic questions. This selected article focuses on the death of the author’s sister, the discussion and project that it inspired, and the many essays that emanated from the experience.

How can you transfer this idea to your classroom? Try this idea from ReadWriteThink.org!

In this unit, students write autobiographies, illustrate them, and set them to music. Music is a powerful tool to evoke emotion, and students will carefully select songs to accompany the stories from their lives. Students brainstorm lists of important events in their lives, along with images and music that represent those events. They then create storyboards in preparation for the final multimedia project. After making revisions, they present their final projects to their peers in class.

How could you make this idea work in your classroom?