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A Way to Teach - Joseph Scotese

Grades
8 to 12
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See and participate in an outstanding example of an online community with a specific and rigorous mission: active involvement with text-based study of literature as "a way to teach"...more
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See and participate in an outstanding example of an online community with a specific and rigorous mission: active involvement with text-based study of literature as "a way to teach" (and learn). This site, created by a teacher at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in the Chicago area, invites you and your students to share in a community where technology supports literature study, making it irresistible. You must join (free) and log in to access materials, but the effort is well worth your time. The environment is both safe and rigorous, setting an expectation of excellence for all who join. If you do not participate and use your membership, it will not remain active. You earn "points" for participation!

A Way to Teach includes lesson plans and active teaching ideas from Shakespeare to Hemingway to journalism. Find inspiration in the Illuminated Texts created by students using PowerPoint or Flash. See student work (or teacher examples) that go beyond the ordinary discussion of literature to total immersion in a textual/visual experience and inspire your students to articulate their interpretations at a level to bring tears to a literature-lover's eyes! In the words of the creator himself on his original version of this site: "The mission of A Way to Teach is to spread and propagate the text-based teaching of literature. I hope that it can be of some use to you as the ideas and lessons that I have been given over the years have enriched and shaped my own teaching."

Be sure to explore the forums and supportive how-tos to get started with illuminated text projects. Clicking on any of the areas you teach provides you with ideas for different ways to approach any text-based lesson. Mr. Scotese is very creative, and he shares his creativity quite generously. If you teach other literature, the ideas are adaptable for use with any text.

While the site itself needs no special plug-ins, some of the ideas require Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat, or Flash software. You can get these from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (131), sonnets (7)

In the Classroom

Start your school year or any literature unit by sharing a student-created, illuminated text on your interactive whiteboard or a projector. If you study Shakespeare's sonnets, be sure to share a Flash version of one you will not be studying so students can SEE the richness of Shakespeare's words before they take on a sonnet of their own. Try this example . Obtain parent permission (and the OK under your school policies) for your students to join and comment to each other and to others lucky enough to participate in this community. Start a group for YOUR class on this safe site and see English class become the talk of your school.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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