NCTE: Old Books — New Journeys

The theme of the conference, “Once and Future Classics: Reading Between the Lines,” is designed to inspire courageous conversations about traditional and contemporary literature and foster lively discussions of how we teach as well as what we teach.

from Program Chair Carol Jago’s NCTE Convention Welcome

A big fan of classical literature in the classroom (I’ve even written a book about it), I was delighted when this was announced as the convention theme and can’t wait to see what will be said on this topic.  And if you are interested in what I have to say, come by next Saturday (2:45 -4:00 Marriott/Franklin 12 4th floor) as I’ll be presenting along with one of my terrific 4th grade colleagues Lesley Younge and Waller Hastings of Rutgers University about some old books.  Here’s a preview to whet your appetites.

  • I will be focusing on my favorites: Charlotte’s Web, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. Among other things I’ll talk about close reading with kids, Charlotte’s Wikipedia, Alice in Comic Land, and debating Oz.
  • Lesley will focus on how she connects old stories with our grade-wide study of immigration.  In particular she will talk about some fabulous work she is doing with Brer Rabbit and journeys her students take into Narnia, Wonderland, and Oz.
  • Waller will wrap things up with a look at the historical context of these books.

We are planning on a good time and hope some of you join us.


Filed under Classic, In the Classroom, NCTE

3 responses to “NCTE: Old Books — New Journeys

  1. Wow. I too am a huge fan of classical literature in the classroom… and my students gobble it up. But I’m always looking for better ways to teach it. Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorites. I have my fourth grade students read it every year. I will definitely come to the session (you willl probably have already seen me at Friday’s Languare Arts Session at 2:30). Also, I have loved Brer Rabbit since childhood but have never used it with students… I”m curious to see what can be done. I heard Patricia Reilly Giff speak yesterday in Arlington, VA, at the SCBWI conference, and she inspired me to teach about immigration (for the past decade or so, many of her books have been about her family’s immigration story)…. so, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about that, too.

    btw – I love your blog, and read it often!


  2. Jane, thank you so much! I look forward to meeting you soon.


  3. Jan Greenberg

    Hi Monica, “The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax —
    Of cabbages — and kings –”
    I am looking forward to seeing you on Friday and participating in the session at NCTE.


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