Crossing Over: Teaching Meaning-Centered Secondary English Language Arts

Crossing Over: Teaching Meaning-Centered Secondary English Language Arts

Crossing Over: Teaching Meaning-Centered Secondary English Language Arts

Crossing Over: Teaching Meaning-Centered Secondary English Language Arts

Synopsis

This text for secondary preservice and in-service English language arts teachers offers a rationale for meaning-centered English language arts teaching and practical strategies for application. Its goal is to provide readers with an understanding of the issues involved in English teaching and specific examples of how to apply this understanding to classrooms. Teaching strategies are presented through a series of stories depicting teachers from a variety of settings practicing their craft with secondary students. Features: *A solid introduction and interesting personal narratives introduce the issues and ideas involved in English language arts teaching. *Case studies based on actual teachers and students realistically illustrate methods that can be used in secondary English classes. *Lessons are described in sufficient detail to be converted to teaching models. *Multicultural emphasis prepares teachers for the contemporary classroom. *Chapters and sections incorporate the new literacies of TV, film, and computers in the English language arts class. *Pedagogical aids include end-of-chapter questions and activities, reproducible charts and worksheets; an updated listing of young adult novels; and annotated recommended readings. *An appendix on writing a personal narrative helps students develop as writers. New in the Second Edition: *Updates. All chapters, the bibliographies, and the references are thoroughly updated to reflect changes since the first edition was published. Chapters 1 and 2 have been totally rewritten. *Standards/Benchmarks. The IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts are incorporated into the text. Benchmarks and Performance Assessment Measures are included in all the pedagogical chapters to address proficiency concerns. A section on helping students prepare for state proficiency tests has been added. *Computers. More is included on the use of technology, both as a content to learn and as a process for learning. *New Sample Unit Plans. Sections based on the instructional stories offer examples to help readers prepare for teaching. *Literature response questions. These are now provided in Chapter 4 for use in journaling and discussions. *Glossary. A chapter on important terms and useful strategies for the English language arts classroom has been added.

Excerpt

A few years ago, my wife and I took our two daughters to see the 50th Anniversary edition of the Walt Disney film, Fantasia. The theater was crowded with parents, young children, teenagers, and young adults, most of whom obviously loved the movie—from Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice to the unicorns dancing to Beethoven. After each of the musical and visual segments, applause would break out in the audience, and at the end of the film, a large round of applause echoed throughout the theater. Yet, over 50 years ago, when the film first came out, the public rejection was severe, badly demoralizing Walt Disney and his gifted animators. The film languished as Disney's greatest failure for over 20 years (Solomon, 1990, pp. 3, 92–93). Then something happened. In the late 1960s, the film found an adoring mass audience that continues through today and has made it a popular classic. The film stayed the same. It was the audience who changed.

Crossing Over is about that changed audience, the children and teenagers currently in schools, and the next student generation. It was written to enable teachers to help these young people navigate and interpret a complex world characterized by a sophisticated and multifaceted communications web. It is about teaching English and language arts in today's world—one that includes talk and print but also includes computers and television and film. A world where talk can occur between people 10,000 miles apart connected by telephone receivers and a communications satellite; a world where print may be as fresh as the instantaneous thoughts of the writer and the microseconds the computer or the fax machine requires from sender to receiver; a world where a basketball game ends at 11:00 p.m. in New York and is reported in California newspapers the next morning; a world where television offers 300 channels and thousands of video choices; and a world dominated by computers with instant messages and chat rooms, with the World Wide Web offering immediate home access to commerce, information, and entertainment, creating communication systems undreamed of by previous generations.

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