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Identity and Social Construction

The following is a high-level overview of a unit plan that would be appropriate for advanced high school composition students or an undergraduate course. It asks students to explore the theory of social constructionism and how it has impacted their own identity. Goals Over the course of this unit, students […]

Archetypes & The Hero’s Journey

Content Standards: Key Ideas and Details CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the […]

Suspense & Horror Writing Lesson Plan

Content Standards: Key Ideas and Details CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the […]

A 21st Century Adoption

Megan is a woman full of surprises. She looks young, no more than 15 or 16 years old, but she recently celebrated her 21st birthday. She has a goofy sense of humor, a posse of equally goofy friends, and an obsession with Harry Potter. She is a serious student with […]

Grieving in the Age of Social Media

Black and gold awareness ribbons and #Marenstrong spread across social media sites just hours after sixteen-year-old Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death in a hallway at Johnathan Law High school in Milford, Connecticut. “Grl fatally stabbd possibly 4 rejectin boy 4 prom.” That’s how I learned about it—not through a […]

Hot Weather

The cat is lying dead in the center of the living room. His skeletal remains lie limp on the rug, his rough pink tongue peeking out between white lips. I should have expected this, but I am still jarred. I loved that old cat. Regardless, I curse under my breath […]

Summer School Abroad

It was July and, in a clear breach of the unwritten laws of summer, I was on my way to school. I had just turned seventeen, and instead of spending my vacation hanging out with my friends, I was participating in an international student exchange program halfway around the world. […]

Piano

There was a piano in the foyer of the funeral home. It was a baby grand, illuminated by a square of sunlight from a nearby lace-curtained window. Its ebonized mahogany lid was propped open, the ivory keys exposed. Its little padded piano bench was pulled out and turned invitingly. It […]

Catherine Anne Crow and Spiritualism

“For science, at least science in this country, has put it aside as beneath her notice, because new facts that do not fit into old theories are troublesome and cannot be countenanced.” —Catherine Anne Crowe 1. Introduction The development of Spiritualism—the belief that the living can communicate with the spirits […]