Content-Area Literacy

C3WP: Formative Assessment

Summary: This resource from NWP’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) features two strategies that teachers can use to assess students’ source-based arguments. The “Using Sources Tool” focuses on the quality of students’ claims and how well they use evidence to support them. The “Claim, Evidence, Reasoning Protocol” can...

How Language Minority Students Can Learn in the Content Areas: An Alternative to Silence

Author: Beth Winningham Summary: A teacher researcher who studied the experiences of five language-minority students over the course of a school year offers concrete suggestions for improving the learning experience of middle/high school students in general, and English learners in particular. This article could be examined as a model of...

Green(ing) English: Voices Howling in the Wilderness?

Author: Heather Bruce Summary: Noting that “in literature and language arts classes at the secondary level, where we do not hesitate to study the impact of ethical mores in human lives, where we do not hesitate to teach respect for life, we have fairly well ignored our impact on the...

Writing As a Mode of Thinking

Author: Danling Fu and Jane Hansen Summary: What’s missing in writing instruction that focuses on organization, vocabulary and sentence structure? What is the role of thinking in writing, and how can we make thinking visible in writing? This article, which could provide a useful focus for a study group or...

The Authenticity Spectrum: The Case of a Science Journalism Writing Project

Author: Angela Kohnen Summary: The SciJourn project, in which students learn to write like science reporters, was initially designed to help students develop scientific literacy. However, it became much more — a key to high school students’ engagement as learners, researchers, and writers and their teachers’ opportunity to explore “real...

How to Build Better Engineers: A Practical Approach to the Mechanics of Text

Author: Ron E. Smelser Summary: How do engineers write: in what ways, for what audiences, and for what purposes? How do we, as teachers, support students in understanding that writing clearly to communicate arguments in proposals and presentations is an important skill for college and careers? This article presents a...

C3WP: Teaching On-Demand Argument Writing

Summary: While developing a more expansive approach to writing, many teachers will still want to ensure that students are prepared for on-demand writing and assessments. This online learning experience from the College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) focuses on on-demand writing. A PowerPoint with a slide-by-slide voiceover, the resource provides...

Writing Across the Hidden Curriculum

Author: William Strong Summary: Pushing back against the “hidden curriculum” of school writing as teacher-centered and reductive, Strong asserts a model of student-centered writing to learn. This article explains the importance of writing across disciplines and gives practical examples of authentic content area writing skills. His 12-point description of the...

This Is Who I Want to Be! Exploring Possible Selves by Interviewing Women in Science

Author: Jessica Singer Early Summary: This article examines how a classroom-based writing project, centered on interviewing and writing profiles of women in science, helped a group of high-school girls explore and articulate new possibilities for their future selves. It could serve as a useful model for educators engaged in equity...

Historical Fiction in English and Social Studies Classrooms: Is It a Natural Marriage?

Author: KaaVonia Hinton, Yonghee Suh, Lourdes Colón-Brown, and Maria O’Hearn Summary: What happens when history and ELA teachers form a study group to develop understandings of disciplinary literacy and ways this new knowledge might affect each person’s practice? As members read and reflected together on historical fiction and nonfiction, they...