Equity & Access

Finding Support for Teaching Civic Literacy Skills in the Common Core Standards

Author: Nicole Mirra Summary: Rather than viewing civic education as a particular body of knowledge, belonging in social studies class, Mirra argues that civic literacy is a set of skills that can be incorporated throughout the curriculum, reinforcing Common Core standards along the way.

Family Matters: A Mother and Daughter’s Literacy Journey

Author: Amy Clark Summary: What happens when we explore our “people”—when, through writing, we explore the richness of our culture, our family, our identity? How often do we find examples of a mother and daughter who have the opportunity to experience a summer institute together? This beautifully written narrative set...

A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers

Author: JoBeth Allen and Lois Alexander Summary: This sample book chapter explains what teacher-led critical inquiry means in a social justice context. Useful in planning inquiry groups with a social justice focus, it also includes excellent content to help teachers to bring a social justice focus to their individual inquiry...

Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

Author: Katie Kline and Thomas Ferrel Summary: When one site’s self-study revealed that recruitment, programming, leadership, access and relevance did not reflect or serve the diversity of the region they served, site leaders committed to developing plans for change. In this piece, the authors describe resources, relevant readings and strategies that...

A Teacher Inquiry Study Group Focuses on Racism and Homophobia

Author: Gavin Tachibana Summary: “Are you ready to talk about homophobia? About racism? About other personal and political subjects? How about with your students?” This article explains how two teacher book study groups focused on issues of race and sexual orientation. Each group established a safe space to have difficult...

Building Culturally Responsive Units of Study: From Texas to Mexico and Back

Author: Katie McKay Summary: By crafting units of study that cast immigration as part of the American historical process, a teacher-consultant at the Heart of Texas Writing Project creates opportunities for her bilingual fourth-graders to explore immigration in a trusting and productive classroom environment. This article can support discussions about...

Reflections on Race in the Urban Classroom

Author: Janice Jones Summary: In a thoughtful first person narrative, Janice Jones describes her inadvertent “silencing” of the only white student in a class of primarily African American and Latino students. An example of the power of a teacher’s personal reflection on classroom practice, this essay might serve as a...

Chocolate and Change: Gaming for Social Justice, from Assessing Students’ Digital Writing

Author: Christina Puntel Summary: In this sample chapter from Assessing Students’ Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely, a teacher-consultant shares insights from the collegial feedback she received on a student-led food justice project and the implications for her instruction and assessment. For teachers whose students engage in complex projects, this...

Scaling Up Youth Programs (NWP Radio)

Guests: Mary Buckelew, Carol Minner, and Paul Rogers Summary: Youth programs invite teachers to apply their experience in new contexts including after-school and summer programs with students, families and their local communities. This NWP Radio show features youth program models from three National Writing Project sites. Teachers who are planning...

Inviting Parents in: Expanding Our Community Base to Support Writing

Author: Cathy Fleischer and Kimberly Coupe Pavlock Summary: Looking for ideas for ways to reach out to parents to help them understand why we teach writing in the ways we do and to share successful strategies for how they might help their children or teens with writing?  And what about...