Closer Readings Commentary

Notes from NCTE ~ Reading the Past, Writing the Future!

NCTE Annual Convention

This week NCTE is celebrating its 100th anniversary conference in the city of its birth - Chicago, "The City of Big Shoulders." See our EDSITEment Lesson on the Carl Sandburg’s 1916 “Chicago” one of the best known poems of 20th century American literature: Carl Sandburg's "Chicago": Bringing a Great City Alive and our Launchpad designed to guide students through EDSITEment selected Internet resources to experience the city that Sandburg documented in his poetry. Conference goers were blessed with mild November temperatures which made for comfortable walking between downtown hotels where the conference is traditionally housed whenever it comes back to its hometown.

Here's the opening words from the Welcome from Keith Gilyard, 2011 Program Chair:"The founders of the National Council of Teachers of English acted with passion for language teaching, with care for our nation’s general student body, and with resolve to expand educational opportunities when they formed the Council in Chicago on December 2, 1911."

I was honored to Chair the following session last evening with two gifted educators who hail from Chicago: Professor of Poetry from DePaul University and past NEH Project Director, Eric Selinger and Director of Curriculum for Chicago City Public Schools and past Summer Scholar, Eileen Murphy.



Eileen has just published a book through NCTE entitled, 360 Degrees of Text: Using Poetry to Teach Close Reading and Powerful Writing. She shared her approach to teaching critical literacy where students investigate texts through a full spectrum of learning modalities, then led session particpants through an exercise inphysical performance poetry.

Both presenters and audience members spoke to the profound impact the NEH Summer Programs have had on their teaching, writing and their lives. Here's the current lineup of NEH Summer Programs for School Teachers Seminars and Institutes and Landmark Workshops for the upcoming summer 2012 - note the deadline for applications is March 1, 2012.

The session highlighted rich resources available through EDSITEment to teachers of Poetry and Literature including World Poetry. Here is a sample listing of Lesson Plans and Selected websites:

Featured Lessons

Featured Websites