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. 2, December 2018
Sara Kajder and Shelbie Witte
Robyn Seglem and Sarah Bonner with Kirrstein Hays
This article provides a framework that explores how Nic Stone's Dear Martin helps students answer "Who you gonna be?"
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Using Lin-Manual Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical as a guide, the author discusses the metaphors we read by and ways to get students to see themselves in stories that may not have immediate connections, ways to "restory" the literature they have at hand in order to make it relevant to their own lives, regardless of whether characters look or speak exactly like they do.
The author discusses the power of storytelling as resistance and resilience.
This article presents a case for leveraging sports culture to advance literacy instruction and offers practical suggestions for engaging students before, during, and after reading Reynolds and Kiely's novel All American Boys.
Katherine Mason Cramer
The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educator Network (GLSEN) 2015 National School Climate Survey reveals that transgender middle school students are more likely than their high school peers to face verbal and physical harassment and physical assault while at school based on how they express their gender (Kosciw, Greytak, Giga, Villenas, & Danischewski, 2016, p. 97). This is a health and safety issue, and middle level educators must take action by providing access to middle grades literature that features transgender characters and speaks to students' experiences. Such texts are more than coming out stories, revealing multifaceted characters and supportive communities.
Linda Rief with her eighth grade students
In this issue, Rief's students discuss their reading habits over the past year and the impact some of those texts have made in their lives.
Brooke Boback Eisenbach, Caitlin Corrieri, Kenzie Moniz, and Robert Forrester
Young adult literature can provide an important catalyst to engaging our students in an examination of identity and understanding the perspectives and identities of others. In this article, we provide middle level educators ideas for complementing the works of classic literature with contemporary young adult titles that engage students in discussion and examination of their developing identity.
Texts talk to each other and can be purposefully arranged in pairings, sets, and circles to help our students identify, develop, and strengthen text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections. By engaging in this process of constantly curating contemporary, quality, and multimodal texts, teachers have a tool to address some of the inherent problems in having to teach even outdated canonical novels.
Sarah Brown Wessling
This column presents the voices of new teachers, sharing their insights in their first years of teaching. In this issue, early-career teachers encounter passages from classic texts to discuss their relevance with current middle level readers.
Elizabeth M. Frye, Brooke L. Hardin, Heather M. Bouwman, and Adrienne E. Stumb
In this article, we offer one means for readers to write their way into an aesthetic poetic response in order to think more deeply about the literature. Specifically, we describe instructional practices for teaching students how to compose persona poems in response to H.M. Bouwman's speculative fiction novel, A Crack in the Sea.
Stephanie Reid and Michelle Dyer
In this article, the authors share an eighth grade English curriculum unit designed to help students analyze and interpret a middle grade multimodal novel. A multimodal novel contains a story told through combinations of images, words, and design elements.
Kym K. Sheehan
In this column, the author discusses the popularity of graphic novels among middle grades readers and recommends some texts for classroom use.
Each issue, this column will share highlights from NCTE affiliate activities. This issue looks at GCTE, OKCTE, AETA, SCCTE, PCTELA, and MATELA.
Shanetia P. Clark
This article from a member of the Middle Level Section Steering Committee shares resources available to locate and discuss new stories in children's and young adult literature and celebrates the positive moves YA literature as a whole is making toward diversity and inclusion.