National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Diversity/Equity

Additional Resources

NWP Resources for African American History Month

February 2019
As February marks African American History Month, the National Writing Project celebrates black history with these resources by teacher-consultants and guest speakers at NWP events. More ›

Book Review: Daring to Write: Contemporary Narratives by Dominican Women

April 2016
Meg Petersen
Erika Martinez's anthology of writing by Dominican women seeks to inspire young writers, especially women of color, to write their own stories as well as to remind us of the importance of diversity in literature. More ›

A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers

January 2013
In A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers, JoBeth Allen and Lois Alexander of the Red Clay Writing Project show how a group of teachers worked together to develop a critical content framework using the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. In chapter one, Allen explains what "critical inquiry" came to mean for the teachers and their students, and examines the critical research, stories, and multiple perspectives on the topic. More ›

Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs: A TESOL Issue Brief

TESOL International Association, March 2013
The purpose of this issue brief was to provide a comprehensive overview of the policies behind the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and to outline some of the initiatives in place to address the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in relation to the CCSS. More ›

Drawing Art into the Discussion of Writing Assessment

English Journal, September 2013
Tom Meyer
This article, by Hudson Valley Writing Project Director, Tom Meyer, advocates that art is a way of understanding, that students ought to be considered active participants in assessment, and describes the use of drawing and writing to support metacognition. More ›

Resources for National Native American Heritage Month

November 2011
Art Peterson
The National Writing Project has gathered articles from its archives and suggested relevant websites to help teachers celebrate November's National Native American Heritage Month. More ›

Mini-Inquiries: Changing Classroom Instruction One Lesson at a Time

September 2011
Cindy O'Donnell-Allen
When a small group of language arts teachers from the Tar River Writing Project in North Carolina noticed that some students seemed less engaged in their classes, they decided to study their own practices, question their assumptions, and work systematically to change their teaching. More ›

Resources for Teaching Hispanic Heritage Month

August 2011
September marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, so NWP has collected these resources and lesson plans from NWP teacher-consultants to support learning about Hispanic history and current issues. More ›

Congressional Briefing: Discussion on Second Language Learners and Immigrant Students

April 2011
A panel of nationally recognized teachers will share their teaching experiences of second language learners and immigrant students at this Capitol Hill briefing on May 11, 2011 in Washington, D.C. More ›

Resources for Teaching Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

April 2011
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month, so NWP has collected these resources and lesson plans from NWP teacher-consultants and other sources to support learning about Asian Pacific American history and current issues. More ›

Book Review: Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream

February 2011
Ruth Devlin
Teachers of English language learners love Sam Quinones's stories, which illustrate why his characters have come to the United States. Ruth Devlin, a teacher-consultant with the Southern Nevada Writing Project, explores the classroom impact of this book. More ›

Book Review: Storytelling for Social Justice

January 2011
Erin Wilkey
Lee Anne Bell introduces the Storytelling Project model, a compelling antiracist curriculum designed to enable reflective and critical conversations about race and racism by examining the stories we tell. More ›

Lee Anne Bell Counters the "Stock Stories" of Race and Racism

January 2011
Art Peterson
Lee Anne Bell will be a different kind of storyteller at the 2011 Rural Sites Network Conference. She will discuss how she examines and categorizes stories about race and racism in order to create what she calls "transformative stories." More ›

NWP Resources for Martin Luther King Day

January 2011
NWP has collected these resources from NWP teacher-consultants and other sources to enrich the study and celebration of the mission of Dr. Martin Luther King. More ›

Katie McKay: Changing the World Starts with Just a Few Words

August 2010
Art Peterson
Katie McKay, a teacher-consultant with the Heart of Texas Writing Project, exemplifies teacher leadership in action: an inquiring mind, a focus on creative classroom strategies, and the desire and skill to work with other teachers and her community. More ›

New Teachers in Urban Contexts: Creating Bridges with Teach For America Teachers

August 2010
Dina Portnoy, Tanya Maloney
Teacher-consultants from the Philadelphia Writing Project use a one-week summer bridge course to address the complex needs, challenges, and opportunities facing new urban teachers in the Teach For America program. More ›

“It’s about Teachers Teaching Teachers,” says Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

June 2010
Art Peterson
Floris Wilma Ortiz-Marrero, a teacher-consultant with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and member of the ELL leadership team, will promote respect for student achievement, teacher accomplishment, and diversity during her tenure as 2011 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. More ›

Book Review: Immigrant Students and Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Remembering

June 2010
Stephanie Paterson
Stephanie Paterson, co-director of the Great Valley Writing Project, which is in the same Central California region where Gerald Campano taught and did his research, finds his book an inspiration in the ways it links inquiry, pedagogy, and social justice issues. More ›

A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners

May 2010
Lynn Jacobs
The Know ELLs social networking space supports educators in sharing an array of resources on the teaching of English language learners and provides a supportive space for them to discuss their successes and challenges in the classroom. More ›

Indian Education for All: Grounded in Place and Culture

May 2010
Paul Epstein
In Maine and Montana, Writing Project sites are exploring how to help teachers implement state laws regarding Indian education and improve the writing of Native American learners. More ›

Baltimore’s Youth Dreamers Have a Home: The Dream House

May 2010
Art Peterson
A cadre of Baltimore middle school students dreamed that they could help their urban neighborhood with a house where young kids could be mentored and participate in fun activities—and they made that dream a reality. More ›

Patricia Smith: “How Do We Lose Our Own Voices?”

April 2010
In recounting her mother's life story, famous poet Patricia Smith discussed how African American children can lose their valuable histories in order to learn to speak "right" in her keynote at the 2010 Urban Sites Network Conference. More ›

Supporting Teachers of English Language Learners in Kansas City

April 2010
Katie McKay
To help local teachers address the needs of a growing population of English language learners the Greater Kansas City Writing Project strategically calls on NWP resources, related events, and local experience. More ›

Book Review: Belonging: A Culture of Place

March 2010
Paul Epstein
Finding lessons on the politics of race, class, and belonging that can inform teachers in rural writing projects, Paul Epstein, co-director of the Central West Virginia Writing Project, reviews and recommends bell hooks' book Belonging: A Culture of Place. More ›

NWP Radio—Why School? A Conversation with Mike Rose

March 2010
With so many policy prescriptions pointing to alternatives to the model of public education, it is a good time to ask the question: Why School? Scholar and author Mike Rose responds to this and other questions at the heart of his new book in two episodes of NWP Radio. More ›

Book Review: Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom

February 2010
Vanessa Brown
Vanessa Brown, director of the Philadelphia Writing Project, outlines how Linda Christensen uses her critical pedagogy to confront the challenges of high-stakes curricular mandates for schools while promoting social justice with and for her students. More ›

Linda Christensen: Social Justice, Teaching Writing, and Teaching Teachers

February 2010
Pamela Morgan
Linda Christensen, site director, educator, and author, explores what it means to teach writing across the margins of life—and teach teachers—through the lens of social justice. More ›

Patricia Smith: Exploring Life Through the Poetry of Personas

February 2010
Grant Faulkner
Renowned poet and poetry slam performer Patricia Smith explores urban life and history by getting into people's skins and speaking their words. As the keynote speaker at the NWP's 2010 Urban Sites Network Conference, she'll discuss the intersections of poetry and teaching. More ›

Redefining Text, Redefined Me

January 2010
Belinda Foster
Belinda Foster, a teacher-consultant with the Area 3 Writing Project (CA), connects her experience as a person living with ADHD to a teaching style that recognizes the strengths of every student and encourages varied ways of building on those strengths. More ›

Writing Improves African American Students' Grades

Science Daily, January 2010
This article describes research that supports the claim that targeted psychological intervention, in the form of writing that encourages self-affirmation, has the effect of improving the academic performance of African American students. More ›

Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

January 2010
Katie Kline, Thomas Ferrel
The Greater Kansas City Writing Project realized that its leadership and activities didn't reflect its service area, so it made difficult but valuable changes to its summer institute with the support of Project Outreach 3. More ›

Bringing Hard Talk to Your Writing Project Site—with the Theatre of the Oppressed

January 2010
Chris Tsang
Role play based on the Theatre of the Oppressed offers teachers the opportunity to rehearse conversations around uncomfortable subjects such as race, class, and language. The model can be replicated at writing project sites and elsewhere. More ›

Book Review: Reading for Their Life

Michael W. Smith
In this foreword to Alfred Tatum's Reading for Their Life, Michael W. Smith, former director of the NWP at Rutgers Writing Project, urges readers to read Tatum's book as a call to action, and for us to heed it. More ›

ELLs at the Center: Rethinking High Stakes Testing

English Journal, July 2010
Wilma Ortiz, Karen Sumaryono
The authors propose ways to ameliorate the tensions of high stakes testing of ELL students by fostering high expectations for all students while honoring the home languages of English learners. More ›

Teacher Inquiry for Equity: Collaborating to Improve Teaching and Learning

Language Arts, March 2010
Linda Friedrich, Marilyn McKinney
This article argues that while inquiry is a necessary tool for focusing on learning, collaborative structures are essential if this work is to be focused on equity and improving learning for underserved students. More ›

Foreword to Literacy in the Welcoming Classroom

May 2010
Randy Bomer, Katherine Bomer
This is the foreword to Literacy in the Welcoming Classroom: Creating Family-School Partnerships that Support Student Learning, by JoBeth Allen, co-director of the Red Clay Writing Project. More ›

Expanding Students' Repertoires of Linguistic Practice and Cultivating Transcultural Dispositions

November 2010
Taken from her keynote at the 2009 With Different Eyes conference, scholar Marjorie Faulstich Orellana explains the benefits of translation in the classroom and transcultural dispositions with student writing. More ›

How the Linguistic Repertoire of Students Can Color Teacher Perceptions

November 2010
In his research, scholar Samy Alim explores the language of high school students and how it affects their teachers' perceptions of them. More ›

Book Review: When Poverty's Children Write: Celebrating Strengths, Transforming Lives

December 2009
Paul Epstein
Paul Epstein, co-director at the Central West Virginia Writing Project, praises Bobbie Solley's When Poverty's Children Write for providing insights into the unique challenges that teachers of disadvantaged children face and for advancing strategies to better help these children learn and write. More ›

Book Review: Bright Beginnings for Boys: Engaging Young Boys in Active Literacy

December 2009
Martha Garner-Duhe
For teachers who are concerned about male underachievement in literacy, Bright Beginnings for Boys illuminates and analyzes learning differences between young boys and girls while proposing positive strategies for working with boys in the early years. More ›

Cognitive Skills Development: An ELL Success Story Gets NCTE Award

December 2009
Art Peterson
Site directors Carol Booth Olson and Robert Land received NCTE's 2009 Richard A. Meade Award for Research for an article they wrote detailing how ELL students out-gained peers on academic performance measures when they were exposed to an extensive set of cognitive strategies that they applied to reading and writing. More ›

Family Matters: A Mother and Daughter’s Literacy Journey

November 2009
Amy Clark
Born into a family that thrived on literacy, Amy Clark, director of the Appalachian Writing Project, recounts the challenges of assuming the role of writing mentor to a person she could not have imagined—her mother. More ›

Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella

National Writing Project at Work, October 2009
Marlene Carter, Norma Mota-Altman, Faye Peitzman
This monograph provides an in-depth look at the UCLA Writing Project's approach to exploring two social justice concerns—matters of race and issues of homophobia—and the design of two multiyear study groups that engage the learning community at the site. More ›

Mike Rose Finds Hope and Possibility in Public Education

July 2009
Tanya N. Baker
Mike Rose's books respond to the "rhetoric of decline" around public school, explore the work of teaching and learning across the country, and present new perspectives on what counts as intelligence. Listen to Rose discuss his thoughts in an interview with NWP's "For Your Bookshelf." More ›

Words Have No Borders: Student Voices on Immigration, Language and Culture

June 2009
The College Board's National Commission on Writing collaborated with the National Writing Project to publish this series of essays from high school students around the country. The essays express the pain and joy of moving from one culture to another, and focus on how learning to write in English opens up new worlds for non-native speakers. More ›

Book Review: The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, by Kao Kalia Yang

June 2009
Lynn Jacobs
Lynn Jacobs, a teacher-consultant with the Northern California Writing Project, finds this account of Hmong history and culture to be special because of the vivid and personal picture it presents of the Hmong people to outsiders. She recommends ways to use the book in the classroom. More ›

Writing in the 21st Century: The Genteel Unteaching of America's Poor

April 2009
As part of a series of reports from NCTE calling for support for 21st century writing instruction, Kylene Beers, NCTE president, discusses an urban school where the staff maintain that students benefit from school time sitting still and memorizing facts—a perspective she labels "segregation by intellectual rigor." More ›

Courageous Conversations: Meeting the Needs of Racially and Linguistically Diverse Students

March 2009
Supported by an English Language Learner (ELL) Network minigrant, the South Coast Writing Project undertakes "courageous conversations" about race and diversity. More ›

21 Seconds to Teach Humanity

Teaching Tolerance Magazine, February 2009
Lisa Weinbaum
Weinbaum, a teacher-consultant with the Borderlands Writing Project and a past participant in the Rural Sites Network's Memorial Library Summer Seminar on Holocaust Education, recounts how she transforms her students' violent behavior by showing them a video of the Shirley Jackson story "The Lottery," then asking them to reflect and write on the inhumane behavior presented in the story. More ›

Reading for Their Life: Poetic Broadsides

In this chapter from Reading for Their Life, Alfred Tatum shares poems and lessons in support of his argument that we should share "poetry worth reading" with African-American male students. More ›

Jacqueline Jones Royster Discusses Citizenship in a Global Environment

January 2009
Art Peterson
Jacqueline Jones Royster, professor of English at The Ohio State University, explores the connection between literacy and the public good, and advances these goals. More ›

Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling: 21st Century Learning in Action

January 2009
Produced by the Pearson Foundation, this short video documents a semester-long digital writing project led by two Bay Area Writing Project teacher-consultants. The video follows students through the creation of digital stories about their family members' immigration experiences. More ›

ELL Library American Indian Reference/Resource “Must-Haves”

June 2009
Michael Thompson, Laurie Smith
With the goals of providing materials that alter teachers' understanding of Native American cultures and building local communities of inquiry devoted to Native American Studies, the compiler provides an annotated bibliography of "must-read" texts on the subject. More ›

Two Ozarks Teachers Give Students Insight into the Holocaust

Springfield News Leader, September 2008
In an opportunity made possible through the Rural Sites Network, two southwestern Missouri teacher-consultants attended a seminar on teaching about the Holocaust. They've developed a curriculum to help students understand such horrendous events, and now they're teaching other teachers what they've learned. More ›

African American Learners Project Annotated Bibliography

March 2008
This collection of readings reflects the contributions of the Thinking and Development Team for the African American Learners Project. These readings are intended to inform the thinking and practice of teacher-consultants and writing project sites interested in addressing the racial gap in student achievement. More ›

Feminist Pedagogy Is for Everybody: Troubling Gender in Reading and Writing

English Journal, 2008
The authors, who come from the Montana Writing Project, the National Writing Project at Kent State University, and the National Writing Project, describe classroom strategies that allow students of both genders opportunities to discuss issues of sexism and work for transformation while confronting these concerns. More ›

Sherman Alexie in the Classroom

Sherman Alexie in the Classroom, a volume in NCTE's High School Literature Series, examines ways to teach the works of Alexie, widely considered today's premiere Native American writer. Heather Bruce, director of the Montana Writing Project, coauthored the book. More ›

Using Genre in the Social Studies Classroom

April 2008
Keri E. Scheidel
In this chapter from Writing Intention: Prompting Professional Learning through Student Work, Kari Scheidel, who is with the Lake Michigan Writing Project, discusses how she immerses her students in the study of American history by introducing them to writing in genres such as plays, news articles, and brochures. More ›

Book Review: Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students

Teacher Magazine, July 2008
Mary K. Tedrow
After reading this collection of essays by three leading thinkers in African American education, Mary Tedrow, a teacher-consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project, realized that "the ideas and potential solutions embedded in this book have gone on largely unacknowledged." More ›

Long-Term English Learners Writing Their Stories

English Journal, July 2008
Lynn Jacobs
Jacobs describes her work with long-term English learners, explaining how a six-sided "writing cube" strategy draws on description, association, comparison, analysis, application, and argument to prompt these students to connected, reflective essays. More ›

Bibliography: Whiteness Studies

May 2008
This bibliography lists some key texts for those wishing to know more about the antiracist agenda of whiteness studies, which recognizes the need to identify "white" as a racialized category and challenges whiteness as a powerful symbol of privilege. More ›

Helping African American Males Reach Their Academic Potential

May 2008
Marlene Carter
Marlene Carter, associate director of the UCLA Writing Project, conducted a two-year study of African American males in her AP English class. The study helped her understand that these students underperform for different reasons and allowed her to focus on the real problems affecting their achievement. More ›

Learning From Laramie: Urban High School Students Read, Research, and Reenact The Laramie Project

May 2008
Marsha Pincus
When Marsha Pincus, a teacher with the Philadelphia Writing Project, had her students read The Laramie Project, and then research circumstances surrounding the play's real life events and perform its scenes, they were engaged—and changed—by its themes of homosexuality, homophobia, and murder. More ›

Project Outreach 3 Annotated Bibliography

May 2008
This Project Outreach 3 collection of articles and book chapters has helped sites' leadership teams inquire into access, relevance, and diversity at their local site. More ›

Project Outreach at the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield: Change the Readings, Change the Site

May 2008
Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield asked itself whether its philosophy and methods made clear, practical sense to teachers of urban students in its service area. In response to the question, the site changed its summer institute readings to explicitly introduce topics of race, culture, and language. More ›

Rural Poverty and the Importance of Place Value

May 2008
Angela Kirby
Angela Kirby, a teacher with the Crossroads Writing Project in Michigan, stresses that the education of rural disadvantaged youth needs to focus especially on guiding these students toward living well within their communities. More ›

Boys’ Literacy Camp Sets a Standard

July 2007
When adolescent readers can read, but won't read, how can teachers get them engaged? Teacher-consultants in Maine created a summer wilderness camp where students must read in order to do things they want to do. More ›

Gloria Ladson-Billings: Biographical Information and List of References

January 2007
Bob Fecho
In a resource developed for NWP's African American Learners Project, Bob Fecho discusses Ladson-Billings' 2006 American Educational Research Association address as well as her writings and contributions to the field of education. More ›

Gloria Ladson-Billings Reframes the Racial Achievement Gap

April 2007
Gloria Ladson-Billings
Gloria Ladson-Billings suggests reframing the idea of the racial achievement gap as one of educational debt in this address to the 2007 Urban Sites Network Conference in Washington, DC. More ›

Book Review: An Open Language: Selected Writing on Literacy, Learning, and Opportunity

January 2007
Sondra Perl
Perl reviews this collection of Mike Rose's writings, which addresses such topics as writing, teaching, research methods, social justice, and the purposes of education within a democracy. More ›

Project Outreach Promotes Family Writing

July 2007
By providing occasions for parents and their children to write together, three Project Outreach sites forged new connections with schools, teachers, and families in previously underserved communities. More ›

Teacher Inquiry Study Group Focuses on Racism and Homophobia

July 2007
Gavin Tachibana
An NWP inquiry group focuses on race and sexual orientation, providing a safe place for teachers to explore these areas, develop curricula, discover methods for handling controversy, and honor the backgrounds of all their students. More ›

Possible Lives: The Promise of Education in America

November 2007
In this chapter, excerpted from Mike Rose's text Possible Lives: The Promise of Education in America, Rose takes an in depth look at the classroom work of writing project teacher Stephanie Terry as she integrates the study of science and language arts in her first grade Baltimore classroom, all the while advancing the cultural knowledge and understanding of her thirty African American students. More ›

Honoring the Word: Classroom Instructors Find That Students Respond Best to Oral Tradition

Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, Winter 2007
Michael Thompson
Thompson, a teacher-consultant with the Bisti Writing Project (NM), interviews teachers of native students who contrast the oral tradition of native culture with the rhetorical structures of western writing. This article won a gold in the Society of National Association Publishers' "Magazines–Feature Article, 10,000 or fewer" category. More ›

Why Are the Asian American Kids Silent in Class?

Winter 2007
Carol Tateishi
Author Carol Tateishi, co-director of the Bay Area Writing Project, probes into why Asian American kids are silent—a difficult question that dates back several generations. The answers are complex, but the recommendations Tateishi puts forth are more than possible. More ›

Why We Are Sticking To Our Stories

Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, Winter 2007
Tina Deschenie
In the Winter, 2007 Tribal College Journal, Deschenie, a teacher-consultant with the Bisti Writing Project (NM), discusses the value of storytelling in her native family. This article won a bronze in the "Magazines-Editorial" category from the Society of National Association Publishers. More ›

A Work in Progress: The Benefits of Early Recruitment for the Summer Institute

National Writing Project at Work, 2006
Anne-Marie Hall, Roger Shanley, Flory Simon
The authors document the process they took in recruiting participants for the annual summer institute early, ensuring a better pool of candidates and allowing the teachers to go into the event more prepared. More ›

A Writing Activity to Help Students with Attention Disorders

November 2006
Judy Willis
Neurologist, author, and middle school teacher-consultant Judy Willis devised a strategy to reproduce what learning feels like for those with attention disorders. She writes about her classroom's results and describes how teachers might replicate the lesson themselves. This article received the Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award. More ›

Creating Empathetic Connections to Literature

The Quarterly, 2005
Lesley Roessing
Taken aback by her eighth grade students' dry-eyed response to The Diary of Anne Frank, Roessing finds a way to help students convert the them they encounter in multicultural literature into us. More ›

Lorenzo and a Christmas Door to Remember

The Quarterly, 2005
Melba Salazar-Lucio
A Christmas door–decorating contest inspires a class of at-risk high school students to drop their apathy, and a Christmas card from the teacher touches one student more deeply than she could have imagined. More ›

Teachers Enter the “Writing Project Way”

The Voice, 2005
Linette Moorman
At 18 NWP sites, the New Teacher Initiative (NTI) provides a supportive community where novice teachers have found "solace and refuge, as well as identity and challenge as professionals." More ›

Voces del Corazón: Voices from the Heart

The Quarterly, 2005
Dolores S. Perez
NWP Project Outreach member Dolores Perez was committed to facilitating, in her low-income community, the project's goals of "access, relevance, and diversity." Her pursuit of these goals led to Family Literacy Night. More ›

Writing with William

The Quarterly, 2005
Margaret Simon
Simon describes tutoring a fifth–grader in writing, introducing him to techniques such as sentence variety. His writing remains lusterless. Then he chooses a topic he's passionate about and finds his writing voice. More ›

The Professional Leadership Development Project

National Writing Project At Work, March 2005
Zsa Boykin, Jennifer Scrivner, Sarah Robbins
The authors describe a flexible model for promoting teacher leadership within urban schools. This monograph outlines both the individual inservice projects and the framework for leadership development that emerged from the inquiry. More ›

Brown v. Board of Education at 50: The Long and Winding Road to Educational Equity

The Voice, 2004
Amy Bauman
A recounting of the keynote speech from the 2004 NWP Spring Meeting in which author Samuel Yette described the historical contexts leading up to the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. More ›

Book Review: “Reading Don't Fix No Chevys”: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, by Michael Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm

The Quarterly, 2004
Bob Sizoo
Bob Sizoo reviews "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys": Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, which examines how to engage boys in school literacy. More ›

Book Review: Literacies, Lies, and Silences: Girls Writing Lives, by Heather E. Bruce

The Quarterly, 2004
Shirley Brown
Brown reviews this text, which demonstrates how the inclusion of intensive writing in a women's studies course can enable girls to reexamine their lives and gain courage to know and be themselves. More ›

Book Review: Politics, Language, and Culture: A Critical Look at School Reform, by J. Check

The Quarterly, 2004
Marcie Wolfe
Wolfe reviews Joseph Check's text, which critiques the "top-down" process of educational reform and focuses on the struggle for school reform in complex urban environments. More ›

Linking Genre to Standards and Equity

The Quarterly, 2004
Tom Fox
Fox describes the work of teachers who link genre and purpose, bridging the gap between disenfranchised students and schools. More ›

No More Fear and Loathing: The Family Writing Project in Las Vegas

The Quarterly, 2004
Arthur Kelly
Kelly, who created a family writing project to involve busy parents in their children's education, answers questions about starting a family writing project and describes activities he uses to get families writing together. More ›

Reflections on Race in the Urban Classroom

The Quarterly, 2004
Janice Jones
Jones describes her mishandling of her encounter with the only white student in a class of primarily African American and Latino students. Because of the experience, Jones has grown as a teacher and a person. More ›

Teaching in the Time of Dogs

The Quarterly, 2004
Todd Goodson
This account of a classroom incident makes clear that it's the students who bring "the uncertainty that is the beauty and the challenge of teaching." Goodson argues for "taking the students . . . as our starting point." More ›

The Family Writing Project Builds a Learning Community in Connecticut

The Quarterly, 2004
Valerie Diane Bolling
Connecticut teacher Bolling describes how, through NWP's Project Outreach, she learned of the Family Writing Project in Nevada and used this structure to help her school strengthen literacy and increase parent involvement. More ›

Preserving the Cultural Identity of the English Language Learner

Voices From the Middle, May 2004
Wilma Ortiz, Karen Sumaryono
The authors suggest techniques for fostering cultural identity among ELL students, including encouraging the use of native language in classroom activities and establishing cooperative learning groups that allow students to use their native languages to maximize learning. More ›

Finding the Student in a High-Stakes World: A Challenge for Teachers and Test Makers

The Quarterly, 2003
Glenda Moss
Moss examines some of the unintended consequences of high–stakes testing and describes how she confronted them. More ›

Inclusion and the Multiple Intelligences: Creating a Student-Centered Curriculum

The Quarterly, 2003
Jennifer Borek
Echoing Howard Gardner's work on multiple intelligences, Borek identifies learning similarities in her students and describes ways she uses knowledge of those similarities in her classroom. More ›

The Politics of Correction: How We Can Nurture Students in Their Writing

The Quarterly, 2003
Linda Christensen
How do we help students gain fluency in Standard English without obliterating their home languages? The author provides some answers: through scientific assessment, structured minilessons, and respect for home language. More ›

How Can Teacher Inquiry Help Achieve Equitable Outcomes for Students?

The Voice, January-February 2003
Linda Friedrich
The core work of the Teacher Research Collaborative is to investigate how teacher inquiry can address the challenges encountered in the effort to ensure that all children achieve at high levels. More ›

Writing in Home Dialects: Choosing a Written Discourse in a Teacher Education Class

The Quarterly, Spring 2003
Eileen Kennedy
Kennedy, who teaches speakers of Caribbean Creole, uses the authentic language of her students to help them develop stronger voices as writers and become more competent writers of Standard English. More ›

Tolerating Intolerance: Resisting the Urge to Silence Student Opinion in the Writing Classroom

The Quarterly, Winter 2003
Sarah Rider
Encountering one student's white supremacist views, a teacher realizes that the expression of diverse opinions in class mustn't be restricted to those that please the instructor. A Society of National Association Publications Gold Award winner. More ›

Any Tilt Will Lose the Game

The Quarterly, Fall 2002
Kathy Thomas
Thomas is forced into a difficult position when a student expresses resistance to an assignment in a confrontational manner. She reflects on possible responses and manages to defuse the situation without severing ties with her student. More ›

Where Does Spite Fit Into the Rubric?

The Quarterly, Fall 2002
Anna Moore
Wondering how—or if—her feelings toward a student should play into an evaluation of the student's grade, author Moore offers readers an honest look at a teacher's struggle. More ›

Searching for Excellence in Education

The Quarterly, Winter 2002
Catherine Crystal
Catherine Crystal, a teacher–researcher who spent a five–month sabbatical teaching in Hanoi, Vietnam, shares what she learned about the educational system in Vietnam and how it fuels a drive for excellence in students. More ›

An Opportunity on Elm Street

Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice, 2001
Brett Stonebrick
Brett Stonebrick, a teacher-consultant with the Oregon Writing Project at the University of Willamette, describes a breakthrough that occurred in his thinking about student-generated topics when he opened up to the desire of an uncooperative and underperforming first-grader to discuss and write about a slasher movie. More ›

Dissecting the Frog

Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice, 2001
Curt Yehnert
In telling the story of a Navaho student who, in her desire to be a nurse, breaks with Navaho taboo and dissects a frog, Yehnert understands that he, too, must be willing to put his teaching identity on the line. Yehnert is with the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University. More ›

Redefining Student Success

Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice, 2001
Karen Deshon Hamlin
By examining the way two "abused, disengaged and disillusioned" seventh graders relate to and perform on a spelling test, Hamlin finds divergent ways for both students to become increasingly connected to their learning. Hamlin is co-director of the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University. More ›

Undrowning: A Rediscovery of the Power of Student Voice

The Voice, January-February 2001
Nannette Overley
Attending an NWP–sponsored Centre for Social Action meeting, Overley, a teacher at an alternative school in Santa Cruz, California, realizes that her best teaching has resulted from following a process similar to CSA's. More ›

Teacher Motivated by a Sense of Mission

The Voice, November-December 2001
Art Peterson
A profile of Southern Nevada Writing Project teacher Marcus Mason reveals his motivation for teaching and his methods for helping his fifth grade students engage meaningfully with their writing and schoolwork. More ›

Saving a Seat for Joseph

The Quarterly, Winter 2001
Maria Russel
Russell reflects on how one student, Joseph, led her to peel away the protective layers that she had justified as necessary for her classroom survival. She now recognizes how they made her "inflexible . . . not a good thing." More ›

Bicultural Literacy: A Personal Exploration

The Quarterly, Fall 2000
Marcia Venegas-Garcìa
Venegas–Garcia tells her personal biliterate, bicultural story to "encourage . . . particularly those in power, to recognize that all children have their stories of literacy," and to encourage a "less myopic," more diverse view of teaching and learning. More ›

Struggling Against Culture and Power

The Voice, January-February 2000
Jeannie Oakes
Outreach programs confront powerful cultural forces bent on preserving the status quo. Alone they are unlikely to produce UC student bodies that reflect California's diversity. More ›

The Importance of Being Acknowledged

The Voice, May-June 2000
Nick D'Allessandro, Melanie Hammer, Ed Osterman
Nick D'Allessandro, Melanie Hammer, Ed Osterman The writers present a plea and rationale for including gays and lesbians as part of the NWP's anti–discrimination statement. More ›

Don't Bite Off da Skreets

The Voice, November-December 1999
Monica McDonald
McDonald, an African American, argues for the pedagogical value of sometimes communicating with her African American students using recent—and foreign to her—slang. More ›

Just Give Me a Chance

The Quarterly, Spring 1999
Richard Mann
Mann draws a parallel between his experience as a young, overlooked baseball player who finally gets a chance to perform and his understanding that all students have the potential to achieve in their own way. More ›

Strange Students in a Strange Land: An Excerpt from A Poem for Every Student

The Quarterly, Fall 1998
Sheryl Lain
Lain celebrates her students' diversity and builds a classroom community by writing a poem to each of her students that acknowledges his or her special qualities. More ›

Ghetto Ease

The Quarterly, Spring 1998
Michael Jackson, Linda McHenry
An African American college student writes of the difficulty of juggling "Ghetto Ease" and standard English, while looking forward to the time when "our language will be accepted as civilized." More ›

In the Midst of Silence

The Quarterly, Spring 1998
Kimberly Sloan
Working as a volunteer in a youth correctional facility, Sloan details her struggle to develop a curriculum that would allow her students "to find an overlap between school and their world." More ›

Writing from the Feather Circle: Seeking a “Language of That Different Yield”

The Quarterly, Summer 1998
G. Lynn Nelson
Nelson reflects on how the Native American "feather circle" practice has affected his teaching of writing. "When it is your turn to speak you hold the feather in your hand; you . . . speak from your heart." More ›

Learning with April

The Quarterly, Winter 1998
Bob Fecho
Fecho reflects on what he learns as he and April, a Muslim student, work to balance her need to practice her faith with her desire to participate and succeed in school. More ›

The Now of School

The Quarterly, Winter 1998
Rochelle Ramay
Ramay disputes the idea of teaching "workplace competency," a focus she calls "naïve." She argues instead for a school that focuses on the "now," that links "person to person, idea to idea, dream to dream." More ›

Book Excerpt: Until We Are Strong Together: Women Writers in the Tenderloin, by C. Heller

The Quarterly, Fall 1997
Caroline Heller
Heller re–creates the process of a writing workshop in San Francisco's Tenderloin, a neighborhood of the poor and homeless, illustrating how writing serves as a fulcrum for explorations of—and actions upon—the forces underlying the participants' lives. More ›

Should Shay Be Squelched? Striking a Balance Between Discipline and Creativity

The Quarterly, Fall 1997
Stacy Larson
More ›

Sound and Sense: Grammar, Poetry and Creative Language

The Quarterly, Fall 1997
Ray Skjelbred
Skjelbred finds that by providing his students with "the vocabulary of grammar" they develop an understanding of sentence possibilities that increases their options as poets. More ›

The Writing Process Goes to San Quentin

The Quarterly, Fall 1997
Jane Juska
Working with lifer inmates at San Quentin Prison, Juska finds that while the "writing process" takes some unorthodox shifts and turns "it was there all the time, jerked around by living human beings." More ›

Are You All Right Dear? The Writing Teacher as Mother Hen

The Quarterly, Spring 1997
Bonnie Faiman
Faiman narrates a cautionary tale illustrating why teachers should tread softly when they intrude into the personal lives of their students. More ›

Book Review: Just Girls: Hidden Literacies and Life in Junior High

The Quarterly, Spring 1997
Debra Schneider
More ›

“Otherness” and Other Imponderables: Teaching Hmong Students Academic Writing

The Quarterly, Summer 1997
Mark Balhorn, Laurie Meyer
The authors describe a tutoring program targeted at Hmong college students, examining the personal characteristics and tutorial strategies that work most successfully in advancing the learning of this student population. More ›

Book Excerpt: Meeting the Challenges: Stories from Today's Classrooms, ed. Barbier & Tateishi

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
Nick D'Allessandro
D'Allessandro reflects on the value of students writing informally to one another. He encourages these forms as a way of helping students find a place in the world. More ›

Ebonics Ain't the Answer

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
Patricia Smith
Smith argues for the primacy of Standard English in the schools. "As black kids, we were introduced to a world we had to enter in order to survive, and . . . offered the tools to get there." More ›

Ebonics and All That Jazz: Cutting Through the Politics of Linguistics, Education, and Race

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
Michele Foster
Foster reviews the linguistic history of Ebonics, discusses instructional approaches for promoting facility with standard American English while honoring the tradition of Ebonics, and reflects on the politics surrounding the Ebonics issue. More ›

Ebonics, or Language as a Class and Status Marker

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
Maurice Englander
Englander dismisses the Ebonics critics by arguing "The only important question about a student's language is this: Can he say what he needs to say and be understood by the person he's speaking with?" More ›

What the Children Convey: On Matters of Time, Talk and Ebonics

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
Anne Haas Dyson
More ›

What's in a Name? That by Which We Call the Linguistic Consequences of the African Slave Trade

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
John Baugh
More ›

Seeing Students, Seeing Culture, Seeing Ourselves

Voices from the Middle, September 1996
Jane Zeni, Joan Krater
The authors of this article devise strategies to improve the writing skills of their African-American students. They learn that the most important of these is "getting to know our kids and letting them know us." More ›

Book Review: Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, by Lisa Delpit

The Quarterly, Spring 1996
Joe Check
Check says Delpit's book reminds us of the need for multicultural voices, rejects the skills-versus-process dichotomy, and presents a critique that can be applied to other than the African American students. More ›

Why Ronnie Wrote About Cars

The Quarterly, Spring 1996
Bonnie Faiman
More ›

Clicking on the Icon: How Technology Helped Amplify Some “Micro-Voices”

The Quarterly, Summer 1996
Jabari Mahiri
Mahiri writes of his ill-prepared college students who "changed themselves as writers" through a co-created curriculum and the use of computers—inspiring many drafts. More ›

Real World Feminism: A Teacher Learns from Her Students' Writing

The Quarterly, Summer 1996
Lisa Orta
Orta comes to understand that, in her community college class, when she "expected everyone to subscribe to [her] brand of feminism [she had] ignored layers of societal pressures and personal longings." More ›

OP 41. . . . And Justice for All

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1995
Griselle M. Diaz-Gemmati
This teacher-researcher describes the friction when her students explored themes of racism through literature and writing, then recounts how students were able to work through differences and come to a new understanding of one another. More ›

TR 72. Nerds, Normal People, and Homeboys: Asian American Students and the Language of School Success

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1995
Stanford T. Goto
Goto examines how a group of high-achieving Chinese American high school freshmen perceive themselves as learners and group members and how these perceptions relate to existing research on Asian American success. More ›

Allowing Boys and Girls to Become More Fully Human: An Interview with Judy Logan

The Quarterly, Spring 1995
Art Peterson
Quarterly Senior Editor Art Peterson interviews middle school teacher Judy Logan, who was praised by Peggy Orenstein in her book School Girls for putting gender equity at the center of her classroom time. Peterson and Logan discuss Susan Hunt's research on writing topics chosen by boys versus girls, focusing on how "Boys are socialized to get ahead, girls are socialized to get along." Logan describes activities she uses to create better understanding between boys and girls. More ›

Choice in the Writing Class: How Do Students Decide What to Write and How to Write It?

The Quarterly, Spring 1995
Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt examines the topics that her high school students choose to write about. She observes and categorizes the differences in topics chosen by male versus female students, noting the sociologically determined roles that play a part in their views of the world. She shares her thoughts on the meaning of the students' choices in terms of what the students need to be taught. More ›

Romance in the Classroom: Inviting Discourse on Gender and Power

The Quarterly, Spring 1995
Diane Waff
In a male-dominated special education class of learning-disabled students, high school teacher Diane Waff initiates an effort to give male and female students equal opportunity in voicing their concerns. After writing journals and analyzing gender roles in literature, her students start to build healthy classroom relationships that help students become conscious of fairness and equality both in school and out. More ›

Michael, the Student Who Inspired Me to Quit Teaching

The Quarterly, Summer 1995
Lora Lee Duncan
Duncan's interactions with Michael, a recovering drug addict who learns to write by pouring out his personal story, show her that students may learn more efficiently if they are given control over their own writing. More ›

The Writing Project on the Navajo Reservation

The Quarterly, Fall 1993
Greg Larkin
More ›

Multicultural Education Comes to Lake Wobegon

The Quarterly, Winter 1993
John J. Erickson
More ›

OP 30. Untracking Advanced Placement English: Creating Opportunity Is Not Enough

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1992
Joan Kernan Cone
Cone describes the changes she made when she opened up her advanced placement English class at an urban high school to any students willing to commit to a rigorous regimen of reading and writing. More ›

TR 62. Nested Contexts: A Basic Writing Adjunct Program and the Challenge of "Educational Equity,"

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1992
Anne DiPardo
This study examines one university's efforts to promote the academic success of underrepresented minority students through a basic writing adjunct program. More ›

TR 63. "Whistle for Willie," Lost Puppies, and Cartoon Dogs: The Sociocultural Dimensions of Young Children's Composing, or Toward Unmelting Pedagogical Pots

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1992
Anne Haas Dyson
Drawing on data from an urban elementary school, Dyson suggests that the "process" approach to teaching writing may be too rigidly implemented to allow for the needs of young writers in multicultural classrooms. More ›

A Little Sleaze Goes a Long Way

The Quarterly, Summer 1992
Jane Juska
More ›

TR 44. Remediation as Social Construct: Perspectives from an Analysis of Classroom Discourse

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, February 1991
Marisa Castellano, Kay Losey Fraser, Glynda Hull, Mike Rose
The authors examine ways in which notions of learners as remedial can be played out in the classroom. They look at one college student and detail the processes by which she is defined as remedial. More ›

Gender: Classroom Models for Thinking and Writing About Literature and Film

The Quarterly, Spring 1991
John R. Maitino
Maitino, who focused in his classroom on gender roles, documents student response to pieces by Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir and DH Lawrence and the films Out of Africa and Lethal Weapon 2. More ›

Seeing the Promise of the Underprepared

The Quarterly, Winter 1991
Cynthia Greenleaf, Glynda Hull, Brian Reilly, Mike Rose
By looking closely at an interaction between a teacher and student, the writers illustrate their thesis that underprepared students may not be "wrong" in their literary interpretations, but rather contributing a fresh, culturally relevant perspective. More ›

OP 22. "This Wooden Shack Place": The Logic of an Unconventional Reading

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1990
Glynda Hull, Mike Rose
The authors analyze an interaction between Rose and a student in a remedial college composition class, illustrating the role of conversation as a way of making meaning when discussing literature. More ›

Changing the Model: Working with Underprepared Students

The Quarterly, January 1989
Margot Dashiell, Marlene Griffith, Bruce Jacobs, Smokey Wilson
The writers describe a model for increasing the literacy of underprepared adults using strategies that improve understanding of school language, approach new information analytically, and provide for involvement in an academic community. More ›

The Unteachables

The Quarterly, January 1989
Jane Juska
More ›

TR 19. Rethinking Remediation: Toward a Social-Cognitive Understanding of Problematic Reading and Writing

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 1989
Glynda Hull, Mike Rose
The authors reveal what writing strategies, habits, rules, and assumptions characterize the writing skills of underprepared community college students and suggest a pedagogy to move such students toward more conventional discourse. More ›

The Response Factor

The Quarterly, Summer 1989
Kate Chapman
Chapman evaluates the letter exchange her English students engaged in with their American counterparts as one which developed confidence. "[T]hey found encouragement and acceptance . . . a far cry from the usual red ink." More ›

Teacher Voices: Immigration, Language and Culture

May 2011
The latest report from The College Board's Teachers Are the Center of Education/Teacher Voices series features several NWP teachers' expertise and viewpoints on teaching English language learners. More ›

Building Culturally Responsive Units of Study: From Texas to Mexico and Back

December 2009
Katie McKay
By crafting units of study that cast immigration as part of the American historical process, a teacher-consultant at the Heart of Texas Writing Project creates opportunities for her bilingual students to explore immigration in a trusting and productive classroom environment. More ›

Learning About Race and Racism Through Storytelling and the Arts

Professor Lee Anne Bell gives the audience at the 2011 Rural Sites Network Conference new tools to help their students build transforming stories that challenge the status quo. More ›

That's Right. Thirty-Six Hours.

Diane Shaw, Diana Jiménez
Two Merced Area Writing Project teacher-consultants outline the content of their Migrant Summer Young Writers Academy, which had as its goal to motivate and provide direction toward academic success for these mostly English language learners. More ›

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