Teen Spirit Thursdays: What’s New in Young Adult Texts?

“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” – Lena Dunham

Back by Popular Demand! Join Us!


Middle and high school ELA teachers, school librarians, literacy coaches, reading specialists, and intervention teachers.


Are you trying to meet the varied reading needs of the students in your class? To invite new perspectives into your discussions? To help students grapple with today’s tough topics? To find ways to partner with a school or local librarian? Young Adult Literature can be a powerful force for doing all this and more.

This six session series is your chance to dive into the What, Why, and How with the latest young adult texts. What books are new and flying off the shelves? Why is representation important in the texts we offer students? And How–how do we navigate the many instructional decisions involved in offering great book choices to our students?


  • 1/13/22
  • 1/27/22
  • 2/10/22
  • 3/3/22
  • 3/10/22
  • 3/24/22
  • All from 3:30-5:00pm


  • Virtual via Zoom
  • Cost: $50 to cover the cost of books
  • SCECHs pending approval

Registration link HERE

Note: At registration, participants may select two books from the following titles:

(Middle School)

Poisoned Water by Candy J. Cooper and Marc Aronson

Ancestor Approved by Cynthia Leitich Smith

All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat

Battle Dragons #1 by Alex London

(High School)

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

The Cat I Never Named by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess and Laura L. Sullivan

How Documentaries Teach Argumentative Writing

Using Film to Instruct Students to Argue in an Essay

Students sometimes have a difficult time grasping how to write an argumentative essay. Documentary films can help instructors teach important aspects of these essays.

Many college composition classes involve teaching students a number of different essay types and techniques of how to write them. Probably one of the most important lessons a college student can learn is the art of writing an argumentative essay as an essay writer, but sometimes this kind of essay is hard to teach. One simple way to teach a student how to argue a subject is using documentary films. Not only do students enjoy watching a film in class, but this kind of film can show students the techniques involved in arguing a point of view.

Features of an Argumentative Essay

Before an instructor chooses a particular documentary, he will want to be sure the film addresses the most important aspects of argumentation. In light of the film, he can ask himself the following questions:

  • Is the film controversial? If the teacher isn’t sure, he can look at reviews. Could a person watch the film and either strongly agree or disagree? If so, the film is probably appropriate for this assignment.
  • Is the documentary’s message and position clear? Is the argument strong?
  • What kind of evidence is provided to back up the argument?
  • Does the documentary address the opposition? Is the other side explored and refuted?

The documentary doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be a good example of argumentation.

Workshop for Writers Workshop

Big picture

Enjoy a space where general education and special education teachers can have a space, place, and time to engage in writing, explore strategies, and collaborate. Experience a co-teaching model to engage students in the writing process while infusing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Workshop Principles. Teaching writing is not always easy, so let’s work together. This group meets every week with new topics each week. Please feel free to join when you can. This is for individual teachers or teams to join.

Workshop for Writers Workshop is a virtual community of practice designed to bring educators and practice together. We will be meeting on Zoom. SCHECHs will be available pending approval.