Making our worlds: Hactivism in middle grades English Language Arts
This collection consists of resources developed by three Teacher Consultants from the UNC Charlotte Writing Project. Being supported through an Educator Innovator LRNG 2014 grant, these teachers collaborated over the course of a year on a project they have named Making Our Worlds: Hacktivism in Middle Grades ELA. While each teacher’s story comes out of a different school, each with a different culture, curriculum, and set of student needs, they all reflect the common belief in the importance of engaging students as makers of Language Arts. Make provides an approach that is open-ended and interest driven. Something particularly important for all students, but especially important during the middle school years. Making gives students opportunities to play with, try out, or represent ideas through physically and digitally making things and then sharing drafts (iterations) in progress. For the teachers featured in this collection, make gets at a lot of what the teaching of language arts is all about: inviting students into literacy-related experiences where they can create from their ideas, to make and engage with their worlds through a process driven approach. A goal these teachers shared for the initiative was for their students to use their makes to find ways into spaces of importance, where they could use their work to act on the world and make a difference, where students were Hacktivists. The work of each of the teachers' classes featured in this collection does this in some way. Each tells a powerful story of learning in a way that casts exciting new light on what it means to teach middle grades English Language Arts.