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PIE: The Essential and Collaborative Parts of Engagement with Our Students

 Image by Brooke Lark

As part of an upcoming Twitter chat on Thursday - September 29 at 8pm (eastern), Heinemann authors Jocelyn A. Chadwick and John E. Grassie are writing a four-part blog series on the core elements of ELA instruction. They write “because our students are ever-changing, we, too, must rethink and re-imagine what we teach, how we teach, why we teach literature, as well as literature's essential place and role in achieving lifelong literacy.” We must “rethink and re-imagine what we teach, how we teach, why we teach literature, as well as literature's essential place and role in achieving lifelong literacy.” 

In Teaching Literature In The Context Of Literacy Instruction, coauthors Chadwick and Grassie explore how the familiar literature we love can be taught in a way that not only engages students but does so within the context of literacy instruction, reflecting the needs of today’s classrooms. In part one of our blog series, the authors suggest how making pie connects to the work being done today by ELA specialists. 

PIE: The Essential and Collaborative Parts of Engagement with Our Students 

Written by Jocelyn A. Chadwick and John E. Grassie

The perfect, homemade PIE: the crust, the custard, the meringue—all handmade, all “from scratch,” absolutely no preservatives, absolutely delicious. I grew up with my mother, maternal grandmother, and maternal great-grandmother maintaining this family tradition of making the perfect pie, perfection on a plate. (Chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, and lemon—the only flavors they made—perfection on a plate. Even my paternal grandmother asked both my grandmother and mother to make pies for the Chadwick family reunions. This was saying something, indeed.) Our teaching as ELA specialists reminds me often of pie-making, real pie-making—the “from scratch” kind. 


P: preparation and plan and purpose
I: instruction 
E: engagement 

These three “ingredients” blended with and held together within the context of literature (canonical, modern, fiction, nonfiction), our beloved and preferred mode, create the perfect instructional pie for our twenty-first-century students. Just as visual and sensory perfection represent the culinary purpose of the perfect pie, the literature we teach to instill in our students a substantive and constant lifelong literacy undergirds our instructional ELA mission from PreK through college. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

teachinglitcontextIn the next part of this series, the authors will dig deeper into the ingredient of P.I.E. Join the authors for a Twitter chat on Thursday - September 29 at 8pm eastern. The authors will focus on the core elements of ELA instruction: planing and preparation, instruction, and engagement, using literature as the foundational anchor. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


Jocelyn A. Chadwick has been an English teacher for over thirty years—beginning at Irving High School in Texas and later moving on to the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she was a professor for nine years and still guest lectures. Dr. Chadwick also serves as a consultant for school districts around the country and assists English departments with curricula to reflect diversity and cross-curricular content. For the past two years, she has served as a consultant for NBC News Education's Common Core Project for Parents, ParentToolkit. In June 2015, Chadwick was elected Vice President for the National Council of Teachers of English.

John Grassie is a veteran broadcast journalist, with more than 25 years’ experience producing news coverage, program series, and documentaries for Public Television, NBC News, and Discovery. During his broadcast career, Grassie’s work received numerous awards for excellence in journalism.

Topics: Literature, Teaching Literature In The Context Of Literacy, Administration, Jocelyn Chadwick, John Grassie, Language Arts

Date Published: 09/14/16

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