April 2013 Blog Posts

Will Common Core Make “Mockingbird” Extinct?

A scene from the play "To Kill A Mockingbird," performed in Monroeville, Alabama
Even though To Kill a Mockingbird appears on the list of Common Core State Standards English Language Arts 9–10 grade exemplar texts (Appendix B p. 107), and poll results rank it as second only behind the Bible as the book that makes the most difference in people’s lives, teachers are concerned that important fiction such as Mockingbird will be overwhelmed in the call for more informational texts in an already crowded curriculum.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

More Frost Poetry for the Classroom: Closing Gaps and Building Walls

Photograph of a stone wall on farmland in Derry, N.H. once owned by Robert Frost
SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,And spills the upper boulders in the sun;And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

What’s the Right Balance between Informational and Literary Texts?

Mark Bauerlein is Professor of English at Emory University, where he has taught since 1989. He is the author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008). His scholarly books include The Pragmatic Mind (1997), Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997), and Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906 (2001). Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Paul Revere’s Ride: Waking the Sleeping and the Dead

Paul Revere's ride
“Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead, / In their night encampment on the hill.”Once memorized by schoolchildren worldwide, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” available from the EDSITEment resource The Academy of American Poets, is thought to be about the courage of a colonial hero at the start of the Revolutionary War.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings