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, videos, and more we found in June!

1. How to Teach Historical Fiction Literature Circles!

Popular among students, the historical fiction genre is extremely versatile thanks to its wide range of subject matter. That’s why teacher and author Megan Forbes loves literature circles based on the genre. In this video, she explains her process of building historical fiction circles, from selecting books to facilitating group discussions. Visit her YouTube channel to watch!

2. How Blank Walls Built Community in 7th Grade

Next school year, think outside the box—or in this case, the room—when curating your classroom decor! In this article, NCTE member Katie Durkin shares how she collaborated with students and teachers to decorate the blank walls of their shared “pod” space, all while encouraging creativity and building a sense of belonging.

3. Is Summer Slide Real? (Plus 10 Ways To Fight Summer Learning Loss)

You may have heard of “summer slide,” the idea that students lose knowledge gained during the school year over summer break. But is it real, and if so, is it possible to counteract it? We Are Teachers has the details. Although this article is geared toward parents, the practical advice within is also valuable for educators—doubly so if you’re both!

4. High School Theater Attendance Is Up—As Are Concerns about Censorship, Survey Finds

While high school theater programs are rebounding from the pandemic with increased attendance, censorship concerns are rising. Despite these challenges, many theater teachers are still choosing to put on plays that address hot-button issues and ultimately empower their students. This clip from NPR’s All Things Considered explores more about this story—visit their website to listen now!

5. Modeling with Graphic Organizers: A Surefire Way to Increase Learning

When done well, graphic organizers are great tools for helping students synthesize information. But traditional ways of completing these worksheets aren’t always effective. At her website, educator Melissa Kruse explains how she boosted student engagement by taking a step-by-step approach to modeling with graphic organizers, fostering comprehension, critical thinking, and meaningful connections.