Voices from the Middle
Voices from the Middle offers middle level teachers innovative and practical ideas for classroom use that are rooted in current research; this is a journal for teachers, by teachers.
Voices from the Middle
Vol. 26, No. 1, September 2018
Shelbie Witte and Sara Kajder
Christian Z. Goering
This is an invited article for the issue on art, a piece "leading the call" and offering a perspective on moving middle school English into explorations into a post-print world.
Jennifer A. Nielsen
This bestselling YA author discusses the importance of arts education in her own life and the many merits it brings to all students.
This middle school theater teacher discusses the importance of arts programs for middle schoolers and provides some concrete suggestions for adding theater to any curriculum in any discipline.
Young Nae Choi
This article shares three drama techniques that middle school teachers can integrate into their teaching practice: class warm-ups, writing-in-role activities, and tableaux. I demonstrate how I used each of these techniques with students in Young Authors' Studio, a writing program for youth in grades 5 through 12.
Grace Enriquez and Amanda Claudia Wager
When teachers welcome and encourage multimodal responses to literature, particularly through the performing arts, students can harness sources of strength not typically featured in reading classrooms to connect to their background knowledge and demonstrate powerful transactions with printed text.
With the rise of high-stakes testing, classroom educators must work to be intentional about their inclusion of artistic and creative expressions of thought within their curriculum. In order to ensure that we give students the tools necessary to criticize and improve the conditions of their lives, we must emphasize the type of teaching that promotes critical analysis and social change. Using the street art of Malina Suliman and the memoir of Malala Yousafzai, students are asked to analyze the societal problems depicted by both women and how each woman portrays their social critique. This article covers the unit plan used to help students bridge Yousafzai's text to the artwork of Suliman and ultimately create a problem-solution paper.
Poetry units can be daunting for students, especially when lessons are the usual memorization of styles and other dry practices that come with teaching poetry. In this issue’s column, Linda Rief discusses how she adapted her practice of sharing general mentor texts to create teaching about poetry that engages students in multimodal study of poetry disguised as quickwriting.
Raven D. Bishop and Erin M Counihan
When English language arts teachers tell students, "It doesn't matter how your art looks" the power—and the potential—of art as a vital method of communication is diminished. Imagery and images matter, as the 21st century has brought the visual image to the forefront of how ideas are conveyed. It is time to reestablish art-making as part of the writing process, not an addendum to it. To do so, we can apply common writing strategies to art-making, leverage technology, and extrapolate strategies from arts educators to an ELA context.
Christine M. Dawson
Using visual thinking strategies (VTS) in middle level English classrooms helps teachers invite students into evidence-based interpretations of a range of texts, deeply aligning instructional purposes, questioning strategies, and pedagogies.
Sarah Brown Wessling
This column presents the voices of new teachers, sharing their insights in their first years of teaching. This issue, we focus on being in the “middle” of teaching.
The author and editor of this new column shares insights into using different artistic disciplines to lead students to greater understanding of literature.
A veteran teacher describes his journey from following a strict curriculum plan focused on standardized testing to one reinvigorated by the arts. By balancing curriculum and standards without losing the joy of the arts, learners—and teacher—began to find their voices once again.
Kym K. Sheehan
Looking at art in the media centers of middle schools
This column features stories from and about NCTE affiliate groups and their activities.
This month’s column focuses on the #WhyMiddleMatters sessions at the 2018 NCTE Annual Convention.