Crowdsourced Online Resources for Teaching

Towards the end of the summer we put out a Twitter call for a crowdsourced list of online materials useful for teaching. We heard a wealth of responses from our followers. In the past, we would have turned all those tweets into a Twitter Moment. Alas the Twitter Moments feature is basically unusable. It has … Continue reading Crowdsourced Online Resources for Teaching

Arrrrrrr! It’s time to Treasure Hunt with Dickinson!

Avast, me hearties, and an ahoy to those of you whose distance-teaching semesters are winding down. Why are you reading this? Please go feed your sourdough starter instead. (And then, please help me to understand how to feed mine. That burping thing it’s doing right now—is that good? Bad? Oh why did I accept this … Continue reading Arrrrrrr! It’s time to Treasure Hunt with Dickinson!

Teaching Whitman with Whitman, Alabama

PALS is pleased to have another guest post by Matthew Luter. See Luter's first post here. In this post he explores teaching Walt Whitman with Whitman, Alabama and explains the digital project that he has designed to go along with the reading. I teach a yearlong American literature survey regularly. And I tend to use … Continue reading Teaching Whitman with Whitman, Alabama

Cookbooks Not Novels

I have kept a running list of things students have called novels: plays, essays, articles, both primary and secondary sources of all sorts, poems, textbooks, memoirs, and cookbooks. Given how often I teach cookbooks in the scope of the American Literary tradition I have perhaps encountered this term-swapping with “cookbooks” at a disproportionate rate. Before … Continue reading Cookbooks Not Novels

Experiencing New Texts for the First Time Alongside Our Students

As our semesters draw to their staggered ends, we start planning our summer reading list and writing groups, along with our physical and mental rejuvenation activities to commence upon our recovery from the intense end of the semester grade-a-thons. PALS contributor Catherine Hostetter shared her first few summer reads with us last week. My pile … Continue reading Experiencing New Texts for the First Time Alongside Our Students

On the Importance of Repetition in Poetry: Robert Hayden and Drake

PALS is pleased to welcome a guest post by Alex Bernstein a poet, teacher, and editor in New York City. Please find below Bernstein's descriptions of how he made Robert Hayden's poetry more accessible through Drake.  Poetry is a great medium for teaching students close reading skills. Usually, when introducing poetry to students who have … Continue reading On the Importance of Repetition in Poetry: Robert Hayden and Drake

Creative Writing Pedagogy in Literature Courses: A SSAWW Roundtable

In November I went to the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) conference in Denver (which, if you have never attended and study American women writers you should because it is the best mix of scholarly rigor and friendliness that you will find). I gave a presentation on a panel about capitalism … Continue reading Creative Writing Pedagogy in Literature Courses: A SSAWW Roundtable

Becoming an Archival Expert

When I teach nineteenth century American literature, I always want students to delve into the archives, and so I demonstrate a few digital searches in class and make it a requirement to include at least one archival source in the final research paper. But I wanted more investment, and not just for their papers. I … Continue reading Becoming an Archival Expert

Improving Students’ Reading Comprehension by Analyzing the Blues

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to help students improve their reading comprehension. I think it’s because I have always loved to read. So many of my memories, especially ones from when I was in school, revolve around books -- which, I have realized over the years while teaching developmental composition students, … Continue reading Improving Students’ Reading Comprehension by Analyzing the Blues

Pairing Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” with Richard Blanco’s “One Today”

Two years ago, Middlesex Community College (MxCC) hosted a reading by Richard Blanco. Before attending this event, I did not know much about Blanco or his work, other than vaguely remembering his participation in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Named by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in American history, Blanco is “the youngest, first … Continue reading Pairing Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” with Richard Blanco’s “One Today”

“The Times They Are A Changin”: Teaching Bob Dylan, the Nobel Laureate Winner

PALS Note: We are pleased to welcome back Darcy Mullen for her second guest post. Please check out her first post here. This time Mullen is writing about teaching Bob Dylan after his win of the Nobel Prize in Literature. How do you teach Dylan as literature? And how do you and your students react?  … Continue reading “The Times They Are A Changin”: Teaching Bob Dylan, the Nobel Laureate Winner

Introducing Poetry to Students by Pairing Kerry Hasler-Brooks’ “Read, Reread, Close Read” with Aracelis Girmay

I have often struggled with how to best introduce poetry to students. Since I have primarily taught Literature and Composition courses at community colleges, poetry is often completely unfamiliar, and usually a bit intimidating, to my students. After turning to The Pocket Instructor for inspiration, I quickly found Kerry Hasler-Brooks' classroom exercise “Read, Reread, Close Read" to be … Continue reading Introducing Poetry to Students by Pairing Kerry Hasler-Brooks’ “Read, Reread, Close Read” with Aracelis Girmay