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A new book by English education doctoral student Jason Griffith has just been released: From Me to We: Using Narrative Nonfiction to Broaden Student Perspectives (Routledge, 2016).
With this practical book, you'll learn effective ways to engage students in reading and writing by teaching them narrative nonfiction. By engaging adolescents in narrative, literary, or creative nonfiction, they can cultivate a greater understanding of themselves, the world around them, and what it means to feel empathy for others. This book will guide you to first structure a reading unit around a narrative nonfiction text, and then develop lessons and activities for students to craft their own personal essays. Topics include:
- Engaging your students in the reading of a nonfiction narrative with collaborative chapter notes, empathy check-ins, and a mini-research paper to deepen students' understanding;
- Helping your students identify meaningful life events, recount their experiences creatively, and construct effective opening and closing lines for their personal essays;
- Encouraging your students to use dialogue, outside research, and a clear plot structure to make their narrative nonfiction more compelling and polished.
The strategies in this book are supplemented by examples of student work and snapshots from the author's own classroom. The book also includes interviews with narrative nonfiction writers MK Asante and Johanna Bear. The appendices offer additional tips for using narrative nonfiction in English class, text and online resources for teaching narrative nonfiction, and a correlation chart between the activities in this book and the Common Core Standards.
Griffith, who is at work on his PhD at ASU, is a National Board Certified teacher and a National Writing Project Fellow who taught middle and high school English for 12 years in Carlisle, PA.