Tag Archives: teaching English

7 Ways to Strengthen Democracy Through Language Arts

This political season has me thinking about the importance of teaching democratic skills to children. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it with the kind of¬†starry-eyed civic hope that maybe only elementary school teachers can summon. It’s the kind of … Continue reading

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Look and You’ll See: Observation as Writing and Social Practice

We began this year by doing observational writing. I took my classes to different places — a community garden, a meadow — and had them write down things they noticed. I asked them to only write down things they had … Continue reading

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Why Is English Spelling So Weird?

English spelling is undeniably chaotic. There is an exception to pretty much every rule.¬†However, while it doesn’t follow orderly rules, English spelling does have patterns. I think that learning a little background about how English spelling came to be is … Continue reading

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Dada in Our Hearts: teaching French Surrealism and Dadaism to children

Last week, I introduced the class to French Surrealist poetry and Dadaism. This sounds very highbrow, but actually this poetry is right up the kids’ alley. Why? Because it’s totally nuts. Basically, these poets were responding to the insanity of … Continue reading

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