English Journal Vol. 104 No. 5

7   Call for Manuscripts

11   From the Editors

Julie Gorlewski and David Gorlewski

12   High School Matters

Teaching Writing, Rather Than Writings

Stephen Heller


15   Second City Teacher Training: Applying Improvisational Theater

Techniques to the Classroom

Melissa Talhelm

While the commonly explored teacher-as-performer metaphor emphasizes  the role of the teache’r; the teacher-as-improvisational-performer foregrounds the collaborative nature of learning and validates the role of students.

21   Teaching Writing with Radio

Sarah Levine and Johanna (Jones) Franzel

Teachers with no radio experience can help their students draw on “real world” radio standards to write strong, specific, and effective pieces, and then use everyday technology to share students’ stories with the world.

30   The Emerging Shape of Voice

Sherry Seale Swain, Richard L. Graves, and David T. Morse

This article details research exploring which rhetorical elements are associated with statewide assessment scores and considers the role and occurrence of voice in student writing to inform teaching practice.

37   A Queer Literacy Framework Promoting (A)Gender and (A)Sexuality

Self-Determination and Justice

sj Miller

While LGBT*JAGCQM students feel safer at school than ever before, the author advocates for a queer literacy framework to facilitate a new reading and legitimacy of (a)gender and (a)sexuality  in the self and others.

45   The Multidimensionality of Children’s Picture Books for Upper Grades

Susan R. Massey

Picture books are often seen as a valuable tool for younger readers. In this article, the author suggests that the multiple literacies required to read a picture book can provide scaffolding and transmission of additional concepts for older readers.

59   Making Meaning, Visibly: “Writing” and “Reading” Image Essays

Kathleen A. Reilly and Jennifer Goen

The authors challenged a group of mixed-ability tenth-grade students to use complex, evocative images and class discussion to ”see” how readers make meaning with literary texts.

66   Close to Home: Creating Meaningful Contexts for Student Writing through Community-Based Problems

David Alan Smith

How does context affect student writing? The author suggests that problem-based learning can provide a meaningful context for students to develop, understand, and rehearse writing skills.


73   Becoming Facebook Friendly: Social Media and the Culturally Relevant Classroom Joanne E. Marciano

The author engages in a research study with a small group of twelfth-grade students to explore how students’ digitalliteracies, specifically Facebook, can help students meet the Common Core State Standards of college and career readiness.

79   Art as Meaning-Making in a Secondary School English Classroom: A “Secret Compartment” Book Project on Toni Morrison’s Beloved Elaine Wang

The secret compartment booklet offers a particularly challenging and valuable opportunity for students in secondary English classes to explore text through creating art and to engage students as active meaning makers.


65   Old Words When There Are No Others

  1. M. Chase

91   Romeo and Juliet-Again

Lou Ventura

106   “ramble”

Simao Drew

114   On Being Asked by a Student

Stephen Granzyk


88   Speaking Truth to Power

Do We Need to Buy the Book? Teaching Uncle Tom’s Cabin

in the Digital  Age

Terri Pantuso

92   Book Reviews

Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing

Ken Lindblom

96   Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book

“The More Things Change … “: A New Generation  of Historical Fiction

Pauline Skowron Schmidt

98   Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom

Spreadsheets and Sinners: How and Why English Teachers Can Claim Their Rightful Place in STEM Education

Tom Liam Lynch

102   Continuous Becoming: Moving toward Mastery – The Breath of Life: The Power of Narrative Anthony K. Sedun and Matthew G. Skillen

107   Lingua Anglia: Bridging Language and Learners – One of These Things Is Not  Like the Others: Assimilation,  Acculturation, Education

Pamela J. Hickey

110   Under Discussion: Teaching Speaking and Listening

Defining “Participation”: A Rubric for Assessing Discussion Skills

Lisa M. Barker