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 November!

1. 10 Creative Short Story Activities for the Secondary ELA Classroom

Who doesn’t love a good short story? Small but powerful, short stories offer ample opportunities for literary analysis. At The Secondary English Coffee Shop, find 10 different exercises for short story units that help students connect closely with the text and collaborate with their peers. 

2. A New Spin on an Old Text: The Catcher in the R(I)

While a classic, The Catcher in the Rye might not interest every student right away. High school teacher Stefanie Jochman and her colleagues recognized this dilemma but wanted to keep Catcher in the curriculum. So, instead of focusing solely on hard literary analysis, students were asked to draw personal connections to Holden Caulfield’s story. Visit Moving Writers to see Stefanie’s process of reshaping the unit to match this new direction.

3. 5 Reasons to Include Peer Editing in Your Essay Unit

The best writers know that collaboration and critique are essential parts of the writing process. So it’s no wonder that so many teachers, including Christina at The Daring English Teacher, emphasize the importance of peer review in their essay projects. In Christina’s blog post, discover how peer editing helps students think critically, communicate their ideas, and produce stellar work!

4. Making Metacognition Part of Student Writing

As AP English teacher Susan Barber explains, when it comes to writing assignments, students often focus more on the end result rather than the process of getting there. Metacognition—reflecting on the way you think—can be a game changer during the writing process. Learn more about this concept and how you can incorporate metacognitive strategies into your writing workshops in this post for Edutopia!

5. What Is Media Literacy and How Can Simple Shifts Center It

In today’s tech-driven world, media literacy skills have never been more important. Students especially need these skills, as they’re exposed to more content on a daily basis than any previous generation. In this post for the PBS Teachers Lounge, social studies teacher Mary Kate Lonergan explains how you can build meaningful media literacy lessons into your existing curriculum and help students hone these important skills