Teaching Literary Non-Fiction in High School ELA

The second afternoon high school ELA session focused on the second unit of Grade 9 Module 1 where the central text is the first letter from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Participants started by coming up with ways to define literary non-fiction, then read the letter and annotated as their students would and focused on three excerpts with accompanying questions. Teachers talked about how to scaffold for struggling readers and came up with some great ideas like chunking the text for the students, pairing with strong readers, providing an alternate translation of the text, and providing background knowledge through the introduction written by the young poet.

Kate Gerson stopped by this session to check in and answer some pressing questions that NTI participants have. Teacher feedback included posting a collection of PCG-generated module protocols on EngageNY.org and ideas for ways to reinforce the standards addressed in lessons and units with students.

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