The Great Greek Debates

Over the course of this weeklong project, students work in groups to learn about the different types of government in Ancient Greece. They conduct research and do a LOT of critical thinking, and they get to face the challenge – often for the first time! – of having to defend an idea they disagree with. Let’s be real: lots of grown-ups struggle with that. Continue reading “The Great Greek Debates”

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month happens every November, and it’s one of my favorite times of year. This year, for the first time, we opened up our NaNoWriMo club to 7th graders as well as 8th graders – our 7th graders used to do NaNoWriMo in their language arts classes, but due to curriculum changes that’s no longer happening. We still wanted to give them a chance! Continue reading “NaNoWriMo”

Representing History and Race in Picture Books

One of the eighth grade language arts teachers and I closely followed the stories and conversations about A Fine Dessert and A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Her students had already worked with case studies on controversial books, so this process wasn’t totally new to them; they’d also just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, so they were primed to discuss race and history. Their discussions were fascinating. Continue reading “Representing History and Race in Picture Books”