Writing Our Civic Futures (May): Civic Engagement with Project-Based Learning in All Content Areas

May 03, 2018
By Educator Innovator

Summer is right around the corner, and we’re wrapping up a fantastic year of Writing Our Civic Futures, a collaboration of the National Writing Project and Marginal Syllabus that has supported conversations about civic engagement and learning over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. Refer to the syllabus for information on all the annotatable readings and related events hosted by CLTV and others. The academic year is coming to a close, but you can still annotate any of this year’s texts, which can be found at Educator Innovator. Be sure to also check back in at EI for more information about future annotations.

This Month’s Topic: Civic Engagement with Project-Based Learning in All Content Areas

This month, we explore ways educators can support youth to become, not only college and career ready, but citizen ready as well. The featured reading is the introductory chapter to Steven Zemelman’s From Inquiry to Action: Civic Engagement with Project-Based Learning in All Content Areas (2016), which outlines practical steps for preparing students for civic engagement via research, argument, speaking and listening, engaged reading, writing for real audiences and purposes, and collaboration.

In the Introduction, Zemelman takes us into the classroom of Elizabeth Robbins, a high school history teacher in Chicago, to see what supporting civic action in the classroom looks like on the ground. We follow Robbins and her students as they identify important issues in their lives and community, research issues, and plan actions for change.

Join the Annotated Conversation

We invite you to read the Introduction to From Inquiry to Action by Steven Zemelman, and annotate the text with your own thoughts and reactions. Annotations are being added via the web annotation platform Hypothes.is. To add your own annotations, as well as to respond to others, sign up for your free account.

For more support, see this annotation tutorial from Marginal Syllabus or this overview of Hypothes.is from KQED Teach.

Share your annotations as you read or any time throughout the month. We also encourage you to use these readings and the opportunity to annotate however it best works for you—organize a study group, bring a class you are teaching, engage as an individual, or connect it to a meeting.

The Extended Conversation/Additional Resources

You can also refer back to previous annotated articles at the Educator Innovator blog to access additional resources and connect conversations in this series.