We’ve rounded up our most popular ELA resources from the past year. As you explore the list, we hope you’ll find inspiration and ideas you can use as you plan for 2024. Perhaps you’ll also recognize a resource or two that you used this year in your classroom.
As I reviewed the ELA resources that saw the most engagement this year, it struck me that all of these resources touch on themes of identity. Exploring identity is central to our ELA approach, so if you’re looking for ways to tie discussions of identity into your ELA curriculum, this list may be a great place to start.
Coming of Age in a Complex World was one of our most popular ELA collections this year. Developed for grades 6–12, this modular set of ELA resources invites students to explore the complexity of identity and reflect on what it means to grow up in the world today. You can use the resources in this collection to diversify the range of stories that students read and combine reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills with ethical and empathic reflection.
Our most popular ELA lesson plan this year explores how the stories we tell about ourselves can shape how we see ourselves and how others perceive us. The lesson plan also prompts students to reflect on the risks and rewards that come with sharing aspects of who we are with others. Part of our Identity and Storytelling Text Set, this lesson plan is packed with well-loved Facing History strategies and tools. There’s even a few you’ll recognize from this list.
Identity charts are a perennial favorite among Facing History’s teaching strategies, and this year was no exception. An identity chart is a diagram that individuals fill in with words and phrases they use to describe themselves as well as the labels that society gives them. In addition to personal identity charts, students can create identity charts for literary figures and even groups of people. These graphic organizers help students consider the many factors that shape individuals and communities.
We’ve created a variety of classroom-ready templates you can use to implement identity charts. Check out our learning experience on exploring identity in literature for guidance on how to use identity charts with literature and identity chart classroom activity ideas.
This spoken-word poem by Rudy Francisco, which reflects on themes of identity, was our most popular ELA video resource this year. The poem (also available in text form) is featured in the lesson plan on authoring identity highlighted above. You might consider using it as a mentor text for students as they write about themselves.
You can find more ideas for teaching with spoken-word poetry in our mini-lesson on the topic.
Like so many items on this list, our most popular ELA reading focuses on identity. This informational reading introduces students to the relationship between social identity and personal identity. It includes instructions for annotating, a sketching activity, and connection questions. We also have an adapted version of this reading designed for English learners and readers who benefit from scaffolding.
What’s Next in ELA?
I recently got a sneak peek of a new ELA text set exploring Borders & Belonging that builds on many of the things teachers loved about our ELA materials in 2023. And I know that’s just one of the exciting resources the ELA team is working on to help you continue to connect ELA texts with students’ identities and experiences in 2024.
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