Literacy Tools in the Classroom

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Literacy Tools in the Classroom: Teaching Through Critical Inquiry, Grades 5–12

By Richard Beach, Gerald Campano, Brian Edmiston, and Melissa Borgmann (National Writing Project and Teachers College Press, 2010) ISBN: 978-0-8077-5056-8, $18.00

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This innovative resource describes how teachers can help students employ “literacy tools” across the curriculum to foster learning. The authors demonstrate how literacy tools such as narratives, question-asking, spoken-word poetry, drama, writing, digital communication, images, and video encourage critical inquiry in the 5–12 classroom.

The book provides many examples and adaptable lessons from diverse classrooms and connects to a website where readers can join a growing professional community, share ideas, and get frequent updates: .

This dynamic text will inspire teachers to:

  • work together to create richer and more equitable literacy curricula
  • develop purpose-driven activities and projects
  • identify and showcase students’ strengths through their use of literacy tools
  • foster learning and critical inquiry across all content areas
  • use “change-based assessment” to encourage student reflection and growth.

“A unique blend of digital literacy tools with traditional forms, Literacy Tools in the Classroom ushers us into a 21st-century vision of literacy education—a fine and flexible view—through compelling narratives of educational possibility.” Shelby A. Wolf, University of Colorado at Boulder, author of Interpreting Literature with Children

About the AuthorsRichard Beach is professor of English education at the University of Minnesota. Gerald Campano is an associate professor at Penn’s Graduate School of Education. Brian Edmiston is associate professor of teaching and learning at The Ohio State University. Melissa Borgmann, Minnesota Writing Project teacher-consultant, has worked as a high school English teacher, a literacy coach, a k-12 teaching artist, and director of The Juno Collective, which centers on literacy through the arts.