Monday, October 8, 2007

English Journal (EJ). September 2007.

Some ideas on teaching English from the English Journal (EJ), September 2007, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

How use films with novels?
Gives students film clips and asks them to turn the clips into text. J Golden. EJ (Sep. 07), 28.

How can students learn more about English grammar?
Students learn more about English grammar by studying Spanish. J Golden. EJ (Sep. 07), 30.

How help students visualize the settings in novels?
Create a "virtual world" with pictures and maps accompanying text from the novel. CM Arver. EJ (Sep. 07), 37-42.

How help students expand their literary discussions beyond the classroom?
Students create blogs in response to the literature they are reading and discussing in class. Other students are able to respond to these responses on the blog. An advantage to students who are quiet and don't speak up in class discussions. C English. EJ (Sep. 07), 56-61.

How help students go beyond the books they are reading?
Using The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean as a model of the world of collecting orchids, students used either their own collectibles or started a new collection and researched the collectible from a variety of sources. Emphasis was on the variety of sources used and the variety of media used in the presentation. KE Moynihan. EJ (Sep. 07), 69-76.

How can students produce a research project on video?
Two fifth-grade students produced a documentary using video, stills and audio on African-American history. J Ranker. EJ (Sep. 07), 77-82.

What should we do about the digitized books now being collected by Google and other organizations?
One teacher had students compare the 16 different translations of the Odyssey. A Webb. EJ (Sep. 07), 83-88.

How help students improve their critical thinking?
Students reviewed critiques of products from different sources on the Internet. From this review came a list of standard questions to ask. M Rice. EJ (Sep. 07), 89-93.

How help students improve vocabulary for the SAT?
"Spark-Notes" has produced "vocabulary novels," novels that emphasize the vocabulary likely to be encountered in the SAT. [RayS: An idea whose time has passed. Vocabulary used to be important in the SAT when antonyms, analogies and sentence completions were three of the four verbal sub-tests, the fourth being reading comprehension. But now that only sentence completions remain part of the SAT, why go to the trouble of reading "vocabulary novels"? Just read to learn ideas, whether fiction or nonfiction. The vocabulary will come from extensive reading of interesting books. The same exposure to words comes from weekly reading of Newsweek, Time and US News and World Report. ]

Other topics:
The issue of choosing words in reading assignments to pre-teach. Visiting the NCTE Convention in New York city. Technology may change but "story" is essential. Learning some lessons on teaching by working with a personal physical trainer. Teaching students to critique on-line multi-modal Web sites.

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