"Upstanders is about helping young people question the world, build knowledge, become skilled researchers, and communicate thoughtfully-in the service of humanity, not just themselves."Harvey "Smokey" Daniels and Sara Ahmed
How can we meet today's elevated academic goals and engage middle school kids-but not simply replicate our competitive, winner-take-all society? How can our students achieve an even higher standard-demonstrating the capacity and the commitment to bend the world toward justice?
In a word, inquiry.
Welcome to the classroom of Sara Ahmed. With Smokey Daniels as your guide you'll see exactly how Sara uses inquiry to turn required curricular topics into questions so fascinating that young adolescents can't resist investigating them. Units so engaging that they provide all the complexity the standards could ever expect, while helping students grow from bystanders to Upstanders.
Smokey and Sara describe precisely how to create, manage, and sustain a classroom built around choice, small-group collaboration, and critical thinking. You'll be inspired by what Sara's students accomplish, but you'll also come away from Upstanders with a can-do plan for teaching your own classes thanks to:
a developmental look at what makes middle school kids special, challenging, and fun
specific lessons that develop collaboration, self-awareness, and compassion
a toolbox filled with teaching strategies, structures, tools, and handouts
"Point-Outs" from Smokey that highlight key teaching moves
"Game-Time Decisions" from Sara that reveal in-the-moment instructional choices
narratives that document the incredible work that inquiry allows kids to do
ambitious, engaging, and important units on commonly taught middle school themes.
What kind of classroom do we want for our middle schoolers? How about one that develops the skills the standards demand and prepares kids to take action in the world right now? We can do it-if we help kids become Upstanders.
About the Author
Harvey "Smokey" Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs, as recounted in Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Minilessons for Literature Circles. His latest bestselling books on content-area literacy are The Curious Classroom; Comprehension & Collaboration, Second Edition; Upstanders; Subjects Matter, Second Edition; the Texts and Lessons series; and Content-Area Writing. He is also coauthor of Best Practice, Fourth Edition, and The Best Practice Video Companion as well as editor of Comprehension Going Forward. Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers. Connect with Smokey @smokeylit. READING Comprehension Going Forward Mini-lessons for Literature Circles Subjects Matter, Second Edition Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading Texts and Lessons for Teaching Literature WRITING Community of Writers Content-Area Writing LITERACY The Curious Classroom Comprehension & Collaboration, Second Edition Inquiry Circles for Elementary Classrooms Inquiry Circles for Secondary Classrooms SCHOOL CULTURE Best Practice, Fourth Edition Best Practice Video Companion Rethinking High School Rethinking High School Video Upstanders Sara K. Ahmed currently serves as the Director of Curriculum Integration and 5th-grade advisor at Catherine Cook School in Chicago. She has taught and coached in city, suburban, public, independent, and international schools, where her classrooms were designed to help students consider their own identities and see the humanity in others. When she is not in the classroom or meeting with teachers, you can find her coaching cross country, soccer, or basketball. Sara is the author of Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension and coauthor with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels of Upstanders: How to Engage Middle School Hearts and Minds with Inquiry. She is an international speaker and staff developer in schools around the world-- bridging literacy, inquiry, and social identity work through curriculum development, professional growth meetings, and lab classrooms. Sara has also served on the Teacher Leadership Team for Facing History and Ourselves, an international organization devoted to examining and confronting the choices we've made in history - individual and society. Sara has just returned from Bangkok, Thailand where she served as a literacy coach and consultant-in-residence at NIST international school. These days you can find her playing tennis, reading, or writing her way through her sweet-home Chicago, and rediscovering the restaurant and pastry scene with her family. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @SaraKAhmed.