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Literature in the Classroom: What Instructional Practices Foster Improved Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking Skills?

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The purpose of this study is to determine the types of classroom instructional activities commonly used in teaching literature. Data were collected at ASU Preparatory High School. The study determined

The purpose of this study is to determine the types of classroom instructional activities commonly used in teaching literature. Data were collected at ASU Preparatory High School. The study determined that literature-based lessons and activities fall under three categories: reading, writing, and discussion. Classroom observations revealed that reading, writing, and discursive activities were designed to promote higher-ordering thinking. These activities included silent reading, annotating text, reading aloud, keeping reading response journals, practicing essay writing, and participating in Socratic discussion. The teachers at ASU Prep used the listed activities with the intent to challenge their English students to engage in active learning, to improve reading, writing, and discursive skills, and promote critical thinking skills.

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  • 2015-05

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Best Practices for Teaching Argument Writing in Secondary Schools

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This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to hel

This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and receive the support they need. It includes all elements of argument, including evidence, warrants, backing, counterargument, claims, theses, the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical appeals, including definitions and how they fit together in an argumentative essay. The largest portion of the project is dedicated to activities and resources for teachers based upon all of those elements, along with activities for the writing process as a whole. These activities are based upon the student's individual experience as well as various scholarly resources from leading professionals in the curriculum development field for English Language Arts. This is not meant to be an end-all be-all solution for teaching argument writing, but rather one of many resources that teachers can use in their classroom. This 30-page paper, including references, are condensed into an accessible website for teachers to use more easily. Each tab on the website refers to a different element or focus of the argument writing process, with both a definition and introduction as well as one or more activities for teachers to implement into the classroom. The activities are versatile and general for the purpose of teachers being able to include them into whatever curriculum they are currently teaching. The goal is that they can add argument instruction into what they are already either willingly or being required to teach in an easy and logical way. The website is available for any secondary teachers to use as they see fit at www.teachingargumentwriting.weebly.com.

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  • 2018-05

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Dearest (∞), an Original Novel Work

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Each part of the book is written from a different relative, literarily-inclined perspective. The portion of this submission that captures what my experience as a Barrett student has lended to

Each part of the book is written from a different relative, literarily-inclined perspective. The portion of this submission that captures what my experience as a Barrett student has lended to my approved manuscript (by Dorrance Publishing Co.) lies with the excerpted material from Part IV. Below is the table of contents for the novel work itself, as well as the styles of writing assumed per part.

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  • 2017-05

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Listen to the poet" [electronic resource]: what schools can learn from a diverse spoken word poetry group in the urban southwest

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This dissertation shares findings from a yearlong qualitative case study of Young Voices Rise (YVR), a diverse spoken word poetry group in the urban Southwest. The study examined the group's

This dissertation shares findings from a yearlong qualitative case study of Young Voices Rise (YVR), a diverse spoken word poetry group in the urban Southwest. The study examined the group's characteristics and practices, adolescent members' views of their writing and themselves as writers, and changes members attributed to their experiences in YVR. Data sources included interviews with six adolescent poets and two adult teaching artists, observations of writing workshops and poetry slams, collection of group announcements through social media, and collection of poems. Sociocultural theory guided the study's design, and grounded theory was used to analyze data. This study found that YVR is a community of practice that offers multiple possibilities for engagement and fosters a safe space for storytelling. The adolescent participants have distinct writing practices and a strong sense of writing self; furthermore, they believe YVR has changed them and their writing. This study has several implications for secondary English language arts. Specifically, it recommends that teachers build safe spaces for storytelling, offer spoken word poetry as an option for exploring various topics and purposes, attend to writers' practices and preferences, encourage authentic participation and identity exploration, and support spoken word poetry school-wide.

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  • 2015

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I wasn't reinventing the wheel: the evolution of the writing processes of online first-year composition students

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Writing is an important lifelong skill. Most college freshmen are required to take first-year composition (FYC) to meet the needs of writing across disciplines. Yet, a great number of students

Writing is an important lifelong skill. Most college freshmen are required to take first-year composition (FYC) to meet the needs of writing across disciplines. Yet, a great number of students enter college unprepared. To combat this, the writing process should be practiced as part of a solid writing program. The Common Core State Standards, the “WPA Outcomes for First-Year Composition,” and the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Education address the use of the writing process as a lifelong skill. Using Emig’s (1971) work on the composing process and Flower and Hayes’ (1981) cognitive process theory as a theoretical framework, this study seeks to define the components of the writing process and how these evolve for students in an online FYC course.

A qualitative, descriptive case study approach was used to explore qualitative documents. These documents were coded according to themes gleaned from the writing process literature. These emerging themes: invention work, multiple draft production, and the collaborative and social aspects of writing were used throughout the process-based curriculum. Participants made changes to their general writing process by conducting more invention work than they had before and finding the practice worthwhile, by producing more drafts than they had on previous writing projects, and by reflecting more about what the collaborative and social aspects of writing mean to them. The online FYC course curriculum gave students the tools to build and shape their existing writing practices, or as one participant wrote, “I wasn’t reinventing the wheel, just operating the tools.”

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  • 2015