Posted by: jockmackenzie | March 4, 2010

The Seminal Literature – Language Arts (Middle School/Junior High)

Thanks to bookxcessblog for the photo

I am on a quest! As I speak to beginning teachers, I have stressed the importance of doing the necessary detective work to find either the local experts in their subject area OR in sleuthing about to find the “good book(s)” that are the seminal ones for the subject they teach.

My area of experience is language arts. My geographic area is Alberta, Canada. I can recommend, unequivocally, these books:

I Read It But I Don’t Get It – Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers by Cris Tovani

Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis

The Differentiated Classroom – Responding to the Needs of All Learners by Carol Ann Tomlinson

I have other favorites but they are out of print. The John Wiley & Sons series of Experiences (Grade 7), Explorations (Grade 8), and Reflections (Grade 9) was unparalleled. A short story anthology called Strawberries and Other Secrets was another of my favorites.

In a recent survey at Westpark Middle School, two other language arts sources were recommended:

But How Do You Teach Writing? A Simple Guide for All Teachers by Barry Lane

The Giggly Guide to Grammar by Cathy Campbell

With clear bias, I am quite fond of my own book Essay Writing: Teaching the Basics from the Ground Up.

So now I invite you to add your suggestions. Please comment by suggesting what you have found to be one or more “go to” sources for middle school/junior high language arts.

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