Each month, we share five things we love as part of our Footnotes Newsletter. Take a look at some of our favorite English language arts articles, videos, and more we discovered in November!

1. Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

In this inspiring TED Talk, the late Rita F. Pierson succinctly summarizes why educators need to connect with their students on a personal and meaningful level. As she says, “Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them...and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

2. Technical Writing With Drones in the Traditional Literature Classroom

High school English teacher Jeremy Rinkel recently added a seemingly unconventional topic to his literature curriculum: technical writing. This type of nonfiction writing helps students develop stronger drafting skills, as technical writing requires frequent revisions to clarify ideas. Learn how you can adopt Jeremy’s teaching methods in your own classroom by listening to this episode of the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast.

3. Disinformation: Resources to Support Information Literacy in the Classroom

In the age of fake news, misleading headlines, and social media noise, teaching information literacy has never been more important. At her blog, Shaelynn Farnsworth presents a number of tools your students can use to verify the “facts” they find online and develop the critical thinking skills needed to navigate an ever-changing media landscape.

4. Considering diction in poetry using concentric circles

Head to #TeachLivingPoets to see a collaborative poetry activity shared by English teacher Jen Filsinger. This easy-to-execute project asks students to analyze how diction works in layers to help convey the overall meaning of a poem.

5. Maintaining Students’ Motivation for Learning as the Year Goes On

With the days getting shorter and the holidays approaching, there’s no doubt many of your students are experiencing a lack of motivation this time of year. On Edutopia, neurologist and teacher Judy Willis breaks down the science behind motivation and presents several concrete ways you can boost student engagement during the mid-year doldrums.