ERIC Number: ED489313
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Writing Our Communities: Local Learning and Public Culture
Winter, Dave, Ed.; Robbins, Sarah, Ed.
National Council of Teachers of English
Emphasizing writing and student inquiry, this rich collection offers teachers ready-to-use classroom resources with a sound basis in best practice. Student engagement with community becomes the centerpiece of the book, an engagement that takes place across disciplines through projects involving history, environment, culture, and much more. Editors Dave Winter and Sarah Robbins present teachers and students at all grade levels with lively, classroom-tested lessons that can be easily adapted to different teaching levels and a variety of settings. The book also effectively addresses curricular guidelines specific to local, regional, or state settings, as well as to national standards. "Writing Our Communities: Local Learning and Public Culture" grew out of Keeping and Creating American Communities, a multiyear curriculum development project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Writing Project. Educators from multiple disciplines and diverse institutional settings drew on their personal learning experiences to research and write about the communities around them and to revitalize curriculum in their classrooms. The result--this collection of the favorite lessons developed by an inquiry team of teachers and students, for application beyond their individual experience. Whether one is searching for brief exercises to introduce community studies in the classroom or for extended units, this book is a rich resource for classrooms, helping students write about their communities while exploring, recreating, discovering or rediscovering, reclaiming, preserving, and building these communities. Following a preface by Patsy Hamby, Sarah Robbins, Linda Hadley Stewart, Rozlyn T. Truss, Leslie M. Walker, and Dave Winter, an introduction, "Building Communities of Learning--An Invitation to Teachers" (Sarah Robbins); and "Thematic Strands for Studying Community" (KCAC Project Teachers and Amy Meadows) begin the book. The book is divided into four parts. Part I, Introductory Activities, contains the first two chapters: (1) Sharing Stories to Build Community (Linda Hadley Stewart); and (2) Making the Classroom Our Place (Leslie M. Walker). Part II, Single-Class-Period Activities, contains the next four chapters in the book: (3) Take Two: Reading Community Photos (Mimi Dyer); (4) Viewfinders: Students Picturing Their Communities (Gerri Hajduk); (5) Giving Students a Penny for Their Thoughts (Oreather J. Bostick-Morgan); and (6) A Correspondence between Atlanta Students (Dave Winter). Part III, Units/Major Assignments, offers the next three chapters: (7) Setting the Stage for Historical Fiction (Bernadette Lambert); (8) Preserving the City (Bonnie G. Webb); and (9) Recovering Displaced Heritages in Multiple Contexts (Linda Templeton). Part IV, Extended Research Projects, presents the final three chapters: (10) Hometown History: The Hickory Flat Oral History Project (Peggy Maynard Corbett); (11) My Classroom Really Is a Zoo (What We Did and What I Wish We Had Done) (Dave Winter); and (12) "Writing Suburbia" in Pictures and Print (Sarah Robbins). The following conclude the book: Afterword and Action Plan (Diana Mitchell); and Bibliography (edited by Stacie Janecki).
Descriptors: Writing Instruction, Teaching Methods, Place Based Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Class Activities, Units of Study, Research Projects
The National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283 (Toll Free); Fax: 217-328-9645.
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, IL.