This post will include some ideas and resources that I hope will inspire writing among students and people of all ages. My notes were inspired by Jay Silver’s recent post, “The Future of Education Demands More Questions, Not Answers.” I agree wholeheartedy with Silver’s call for a pedagogy of questions. I want my students to question, we need our students to question everything from our pedagogy to the status quo to our humanity. This focus on answers, specifically the “right” answers as determined by some corporate weenie with no pedagogical training, makes me crazy. However, I would like to expand on Silver’s idea and suggest that what we need is a pedagogy of reflecting on those questions, specifically reflecting through writing. I offer four ways that teachers can engage their students in writing about the important questions facing humanity. Questioning and challenging is a wonderful beginning but we should also reflect long and deep about these issues.
I love the idea of “Drawing for Change: Analyzing and Making Political Cartoons” as a wonderful way to work with text. Students will use both creative and analytical tools and engage with text in the broadest sense of the word. What a great way to write, create, and analyze across content areas. This could be such an interesting and compelling approach to handle any number of current or historical events as well as social issues for a variety of humanities classes.
In addition, Zoom In is offering a wonderful set of resources to help teachers engage students in thinking and writing about pivotal moments in US History. This is a tremendous resource for history and social studies teachers as well as humanities and literature teachers who want to engage their students in a specific time period or event surrounding the literature under study.
USA Today is offering a wonderful writing prompt that offers the opportunity to join a national conversation about an important issue: Policing the USA: A look at race, justice and media. What a wonderful opportunity to write about something that is on the mind of so many today and with the possibility of publication.
I will close out this post with a topic still near and dear to my heart and the core of my pedagogy: Important Conversations Inspired By Comics. I continue to believe fervently in the power of comics to foster discussion and reflection about important social issues and the big questions that continue to face us as humans.