Taking Language Arts into the Classroom - National Council of Teachers of English
Back to Blog

Taking Language Arts into the Classroom

Whether you are an elementary language arts teacher or a literature professor, NCTE has a peer-reviewed journal for you, with content reflecting current research, trends, and strategies. Our 10 professional journals are available in paper and online, along with an extensive archive of past issues.

Subscribers have access to all the articles in their journal, from present day articles to those in the digital archive. But did you know that in each issue, several articles are made free to everyone? The Language Arts, Volume 94, Number 6, July 2017 issue had a poetry theme.

‘Lived Life through a Colored Lens’: Culturally Sustaining Poetry in an Urban Literacy Classroom” was authored by Emily Machado, Andrea Vaughan, Rick Coppola, and Rebecca Woodard. Using the lens of culturally sustaining pedagogy, the authors presented a case study that examines a nine-week instructional unit in poetry in an urban seventh-grade English language arts classroom.

How can you transfer this idea to your classroom? Try this idea from ReadWriteThink.org!

In her poem “Nikki-Rosa,” Nikki Giovanni describes specific moments from her childhood. The images she recalls are more than biographical details; they are evidence to support her premise that growing up black doesn’t always mean growing up in hardship. Adapted from Carol Jago’s Nikki Giovanni in the Classroom, Childhood Remembrances: Life and Art Intersect this lesson invites students to explore what Jago calls the place “where life and art intersect” by carefully reading and discussing Giovanni’s poem. They explore their own childhood memories using an interactive tool and then write about these memories, using Giovanni’s poem as a model.

How could you make this idea work in your classroom?