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 resources, articles, and more we found in December!

1. 5 Things We've Learned About Virtual School In 2020

It’s been about eight months since schools first closed at the beginning of the pandemic, and in that time, teachers and students alike have faced innumerable challenges with remote schooling. In this piece for NPR Morning Edition, Anya Kamenetz interviewed teachers from six different states, asking what they’ve learned so far about the impacts of virtual learning. You can listen to the broadcast or read the transcript at the link.

2. Virtual Book Clubs in Middle School

With many schools still closed for in-person learning, teachers and staff have come up with clever ways to keep students connected. Before the pandemic, Pernille Ripp used to host book clubs for her middle school students in conjunction with her school library. This year, not wanting to abandon the tradition, Pernille decided to take the book club online. Follow her journey to building a comprehensive virtual book club in this blog post!

3. Teaching Black Children Cultural Identity Through Magic, Folklore, and Myth

When he was growing up, author Ryan Douglass turned to science fiction and fantasy as a means of escaping his everyday life. Now, he recognizes the power of these genres in helping Black storytellers and readers reconnect with traditions, myths, and other facets of cultural identity that have been buried over the years. Read about his favorite book recommendations for grades 6-12 in this post for NCTE.

4. Fire Up Your Students with a Campaign Project

After a unit on creative writing, Jane Currell wanted to introduce her elementary students to persuasive writing in a way that emphasized collaboration and choice. What better way to do so than through a campaign project? At the Cult of Pedagogy, Jane outlines all the steps involved in creating and executing an enriching campaign unit for students of all ages.

5. Six No Prep Activities for After Break

Does the thought of holding students’ attention in the days after winter break keep you up at night? No fear! Meredith at Bespoke ELA has six no prep activities prepared for you. From simple creative writing assignments to guided reflections, these quick lesson plans will help you and your students ease back into the school routine.